Researchers are looking for men who are concerned that they are, or have been, abusive in their relationships with women to take part in a new study that will help improve how we support men in changing their behaviour.
The National Institute for Health Research funded REPROVIDE study at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care has developed a 23-week group programme for men that aims to help them understand and change their behaviour. The study aims to assess the effectiveness of the programme for the men taking part and in terms of the safety and wellbeing of their partner or ex-partner.
The study is working in partnership with the charities Barnardo’s, Splitz Support Service, NextLink, Phoenix Domestic Abuse Services and Respect to recruit men who live in Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset or Gwent and who are or have been:
- in a relationship with a female partner
- aged 21 or over
- worried that their behaviour towards female partners might be violent or abusive
- able to take part in an English-speaking group.
Men can refer themselves to take part in the study, and the research team is also keen for GPs, social workers, health visitors, police officers or domestic abuse services to support men to get in touch.
Two-thirds of men referred will take part in the group programme, which will provide education and support, and one-third will be assigned to a comparison group, with no additional support. All the men will be asked to complete questionnaires at various points during the study.
Partners or ex-partners of the men will also be invited to take part and offered appropriate support. Their experiences will help the research team measure the effectiveness of the programme.
Dr Karen Morgan, Research Fellow at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, said: “Not all domestic abuse is physical. It can be emotional, sexual, financial or controlling behaviour, but whatever form it takes, it is important that men who are concerned about their behaviour in relationships have somewhere to turn for help. Through the REPROVIDE study, we are hoping to find the most effective way to help men to change abusive behaviour, and ultimately, to improve lives for their victims, for children, and for the men themselves. Men joining our study will be helping us to do that, whether they are allocated be attend the REPROVIDE weekly group programme, or to be one of our comparison men.’
For help and support on domestic violence, these services provide free helplines:
- Men’s Advice Line for men experiencing abuse: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm: 0808 801 0327
- National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
- National Domestic Violence 24 hr Helpline for women experiencing abuse: 0808 2000 247
- RESPECT Phoneline: Confidential helpline offering advice, information and support to anyone concerned about their own or someone else’s violent or abusive behaviour. Monday-Friday 9am-5pm: 0808 802 4040