A male being supported by a female

First authority in London to receive domestic abuse accreditation

London Borough of Redbridge has announced that it is the first local authority in London to receive top marks and accreditation for the domestic abuse programme that it set up during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spotlight Programme was set up to help perpetrators of domestic abuse tackle their behaviours and change their ways. It is a safe space that focuses on helping people develop respectful and non-abusive relationships, whilst priding itself on being welcoming, supportive, committed, non-judgemental, inclusive, and diverse. It also employs a range of techniques and tools to help support individuals, including the use of virtual reality headsets.

Cabinet Member for Crime, Safety, and Community Cohesion, Councillor Khayer Chowdhury, said:

“Change has to start from within. Research into Respect accredited programmes shows that most women and children feel significant improvements in their sense of safety after the perpetrator has taken part in a programme like this.

“We understand that talking about how you’ve treated others badly isn’t easy, so we have set up the Spotlight Programme as a safe space where we will help develop respectful, non-abusive relationships.

“This is an incredible achievement for Redbridge Council and all those involved with this project, particularly being the first London Local Authority to gain Respect accreditation. I would like to thank the Redbridge Team, along with the Home Office for funding and MOPAC for their support, which has allowed us to develop the service”

Despite the programme being centred around the perpetrators, it is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the survivors of domestic abuse and their children. The council’s integrated supports service makes sure that the programme doesn’t create any additional risks, as well as ensuring it is having a positive impact on the wellbeing, safety, and freedom of the users of the programme, and the people affected by their behaviour.

The programme was set up with funding from the Home Officer, through The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. The Council’s Community Social Work Team within Children and Families are responsible for the establishment of the programme.

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