Recently a Moroccan television station came under fire for a segment aimed at helping those battling domestic abuse. The segment gave tips on how to cover bruises with makeup. Can you say bad idea?  It’s easy for most people to realize that “covering up” a violent situation is not the answer. What’s not always easy is speaking up and speaking out about the aggressor. I believe we need to flip the script a bit on this narrative. Yes, victims should be heard and yes, we must do everything in our power to protect them, however we as a society must do more when it comes to punishing and rehabilitating the perpetrator. But will shifting the focus to the offender really help? A new pilot program in the U.K. is trying to find out.  “Drive” will offer high-risk male and female perpetrators of domestic violence bespoke one-to-one sessions to change their behavior as part of a three-year pilot project. Though there are programs like this already in the UK, Drive is a new, more pragmatic response, focusing on the individual circumstances of those involved.
 
Participants will also be offered help to solve mental health issues, alcohol or drug abuse problems they may have, along with advice about housing, employment and parenting. Any perpetrators who refuse to take part will be closely monitored by police, and civil and criminal orders will be considered in an attempt to stop their violent behavior. Here’s a look at the entire article.
 
Please don’t misunderstand, I believe victims need all the help we can give, and we need more accessible alternatives to those who find themselves in an unhealthy and unsafe environment. I also believe that working with offenders, whether through counseling while incarcerated, or the pilot programs like the one mentioned above, we as a society, could get one step closer to breaking the cycle of domestic abuse.
 
Tell us what you think on our Facebook page. (link to that here). And, if you need help or additional resources please visit our teens page, or parents’ page for additional information.

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