Dundee to roll out new system to tackle domestic abuse
An innovative system that helps to tackle the behaviour of men convicted of domestic abuse while supporting victims is being rolled out in Dundee.
Councillors were told this week that the Scottish Government has pledged £666,276 up to the end of 2020 to implement the Caledonian system to address domestic abuse in the city.
Alan Ross, convener of Dundee City Council’s community safety and public protection committee, welcomed the initiative.
He said: “After successful pilots in five areas of Scotland that have been running for the past seven years, the Scottish Government invited bids to a £2.8 million fund set up to bring the system to more areas.
“We recognised the high number of domestic abuse incidents in the city and the fact that we did not have an accredited domestic abuse group work programme to offer the Court and put forward a joint bid with Perth and Kinross Council and key third sector agencies.
“I am delighted that the government have chosen to support it.”
Scottish Government backing will allow the recruitment of four extra staff to undertake the programme work, with four more, two in Dundee and two in Perth and Kinross focussing on supporting victims and children.
In addition, a key aspect of the proposed Caledonian system in Dundee is the involvement of Third Sector partners. Action For Children will host the Caledonian women’s worker and Dundee Women’s Aid will be host to the Caledonian children’s Worker.
The Caledonian Programme is an intensive response consisting of an initial assessment for suitability, fourteen pre-group sessions and six group work modules, each of three to five session that can last up to three hours.
At the end of the group there may be individual maintenance sessions until the Order is completed.
It is suitable only for men assessed as presenting medium or high risk, which normally requires evidence of a pattern of similar offending.
The modules include responsibility within relationship, sexual respect, men and women, children and fathering, lifelong change and responsibility for and to self.
Cllr Ross added: “We are anticipating that this initial funding will be extended and will allow us to embed the Caledonian System in Dundee.
“It presents an exciting opportunity to enhance our overall approaches to domestic abuse and will be overseen by a multi-agency steering group with regular reports provided to the Dundee Violence Against Women Partnership.”
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) launched its ‘Make a Stand’ pledge which urges housing organisations to help tackle domestic abuse earlier this year.