Evaluating a complex domestic abuse intervention in Hampshire, UK: a mixed-methods approach
Domestic abuse is experienced by many people in the UK, and is commonly experienced by women. There are a number of organisations that work with both those that have abused harm, as well as the victims of harm. One organisation based in Hampshire has developed a new program of activities that involves working with both the abuser and the victim. This new program (called the ‘DAPP’) brings together different ways of working, and means that anyone can access the program regardless of their situation. The main activities includes educational group work involving men who have abused their partners. This group work aims to encourage change in men’s behaviour towards their partners. The DAPP also trains and educates front line services and community groups about working with men who abuse.
In this study we aim to find out how well this new program has been working, how it has been carried out, and how it might be carried out elsewhere. Furthermore we will assess whether there has been any changes in the amount or type of harm experienced by the victims, and their families, as a result of the programme.
To understand this, we will gather information from the organisations involved, interview people involved in the programme, and observe what is happening. We will gather information at different points during the program, such as before and after the program. One questionnaire will be used to look at the impact of the program over time. Another questionnaire will be used to understand whether the men accessing the program have abused before, and a bit of information about their background. To understand how well the program has been working, we plan to interview victims of harm to understand their experiences of the program, and then interview their partners separately. The men will be interviewed in groups and victims will be interviewed one on one.
Overall, the study will aim to understand whether the outcomes of the program were as expected and, if not, why they weren’t as expected. This sort of information will be useful for organisations who would like to carry out the same program elsewhere.