People who beat their partners and family members are very likely to go on to reoffend. In many cases, they go back to the same partners or remain abusive in new relationships. Even if they spend time in prison for their crimes, they often return to the same patterns of violent, controlling behaviour.
In my previous work for domestic violence organisations, I saw first-hand how specialised perpetrator programmes can change attitudes and behaviour, preventing violence. To be successful, they must have the safety and welfare of victims and children at their heart.
Today I asked Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke MP whether the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill will include programmes for prisoners serving time for crimes involving domestic violence. This seems like an obvious opportunity – prison could be a good environment for these programmes.
As I stated in a separate Parliamentary question this week, evidence shows that such preventative programmes have the potential to save billions of pounds in costs, in addition to immeasurable benefits for would-be victims.
The Domestic Abuse Bill has the real potential to save lives. I will be working with MPs from across all parties to keep up the pressure on the Government to make sure it does.