A CHARITY is hiring staff to work with some of the most dangerous domestic abusers in the county to put a stop to their behaviour.
The Hampton Trust will base two case workers in Horsham as part of a pilot project to see perpetrators change the way they act and reduce the number of victims.
So far the scheme, called Drive, is being tested out only in Sussex, Essex and South Wales to see if it works before being rolled out across the country.
Police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne threw her support behind the work as figures revealed two women a week die as a result of domestic homicide.
Some 100,000 people are at high risk of being murdered or seriously harmed every year, statistics said. But fewer than one per cent of perpetrators are told to take part in specialist courses to reform.
The trust, which works to help people live a life free from abuse and exploitation, is looking for two case workers who will work in West Sussex until at least March 2019.
The £29,558 a year posts will see them work with abusers whose victims are thought to be at a high risk of significant harm or being killed.
They will work with them individually for a year and then arrange an extra six months of less concentrated support as the programme comes to an end.
The successful candidates will have “demonstrable experience” of working with attackers and have an in-depth understanding of the complexities of domestic violence and the effect it has on victims, the advertisements said.
Ms Bourne said: “By addressing perpetrators’ behaviour this project will target the root cause of domestic abuse and, crucially, improve outcomes for victims and children. It is vital that we improve the response to perpetrators to reduce the number of victims currently experiencing domestic abuse, limit the harm to children and prevent further victimisation.”
Domestic abuse victim Rachel Williams said: “The perpetrator is the problem. Why is it that the victim is the one who has to move and seek refuge, when the perpetrator carries on as normal? If we don’t deal with them – then they just move onto the next victim. We have to at least try and change their mind-sets.”
The project is funded by the commissioners, the Lloyds Bank Foundation, Tudor Trust, and Comic Relief. The national charities Respect and SafeLives are also involved.
Diana Barran, chief executive of charity SafeLives, said: “The victims we work with have asked us why they are always the ones expected to change – and why too often the perpetrator is left free to continue their abuse of them and others.
“We want to help victims of today and reduce the number of victims of tomorrow. We will be testing this intervention in three areas, with the aim of proving it could work and be rolled out nationally.”
For information visit hamptontrust.org.uk