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  • Writer's pictureClaire Verney

How DV-ACT Works With Perpetrators Who Deny Or Minimise Their Behaviour

DV-ACT experts deliver a bespoke 1:1 treatment programme for perpetrators whose denial and minimisation of their behaviours makes them unsuitable for normal groupwork programmes.

This post will explain how DV-ACT delivers this intensive programme remotely, what it covers, the costs, and what reporting options are available.

Mum working remotely
Working with denial and minimisation

Most domestic abuse perpetrator programmes (DAPP) do not allow perpetrators to attend if they do not admit to their abusive behaviour or heavily minimise incidents of high-risk abuse. This is because DAPPs are behavioural change programmes therefore, a perpetrator must show some willingness to change their behaviour.

However, this leaves social workers with no way to progress cases and keeps perpetrators in a state of entrenched denial with no chance to reduce their risk. DV-ACT experts have used their decades of experience in the field of domestic abuse to create a unique bespoke programme specifically for these perpetrators who have children in child protection measures and are willing to complete domestic abuse work. This programme of work aims to get perpetrators to the point at which they can attend a full perpetrator programme.

Who is the treatment programme for?

The DV-ACT programme is designed to work with perpetrators in the UK where the family court or local authority has concerns regarding the risk of harm to children due to domestic abuse and they are currently unsuitable for a full DAPP due to denial and/or minimisation.

The programme is suitable for perpetrators who:

  • have been found unsuitable for a programme due to their denial/minimisation

  • deny or minimise abusive behaviour but are willing to participate in domestic abuse work

  • admit to low risk incidents but deny using high risk behaviour

The work is demanding and matched to the needs of the perpetrator and the child protection plan. We can work with; those that need a translator; female perpetrators; parents in court proceedings; those currently in a relationship and separated parents.

Please note that this is a motivational programme with the aim of getting perpetrators to the point at which they are suitable to attend a full domestic abuse programme (DAPP) and is not a replacement for a full DAPP.

What does the programme cover?

The 6 session programme is tailored to the needs of the perpetrator and will cover the following:

  • Identifying the source of resistance

  • Motivational work

  • Understanding the cycle of violence and abuse

  • Gains and losses from changing behaviour

  • Understanding the impact of domestic abuse on children

  • Understanding the Local Authorities concerns

  • Viewing DAPP material to prepare for a full programme

  • Cultural challenges

As it is a bespoke programme delivered on a one to one basis, there can be a particular focus on specific areas of concern and further sessions can be included to meet the requirements of the child protection plan.

How is the programme delivered?

The programme will be delivered on a one-to-one basis by a DV-ACT worker. If the client has not first completed a full risk or joint assessment with DV-ACT an initial suitability assessment will need to be completed with an expert assessor. Sessions will then take place either once or twice a week depending upon the needs of the client and the stage that the case is at. There will be an additional session towards the end of the programme where the expert assessor will meet with the client in order to complete the final assessment report.

Sessions can be completed using an interpreter, should this be required. Currently, sessions are being completed remotely, however, face to face sessions may be possible at social work offices depending upon the location and what government restrictions are in place at the time.

Will the programme include a report?

For those that have not first completed a risk/joint assessment at DV-ACT a suitability report will be provided setting out the agreed treatment goals, what the programme will cover and how long it will take. Clients who are found unsuitable will receive a letter, setting out the reasons why they are unsuitable for this programme.

A detailed final report is provided following the conclusion of the work including the following:

  • sessions missed/attended;

  • what the sessions covered;

  • whether the perpetrator has met the targets outlined at the beginning of the work;

  • recommendations for further work;

  • recommendations for risk management strategies.

For the preservation of objectivity, all reports are completed by assessors independent from the practitioner completing the work. As this report is completed by an expert assessor it can be used with confidence in court proceedings – all DV-ACT assessors are experienced expert witnesses.

How long will it take?

The length of time that the programme will take is decided on a case by case basis and depends upon the needs of the perpetrator and whether a report is required urgently for court proceedings. Sessions can take place once or twice a week and double (weekly) sessions are also available. At a minimum, the programme will take 7 weeks to complete or 10 weeks as a maximum, however, any filing dates given will depend upon attendance. A final report will be provided 2 weeks after completion.

What is the cost of the programme?

The cost of the programme will need to be met by the local authority (although it may be possible to get LAA funding for the assessment part of the work) with the fees set out as follows (please note that prices are exclusive of VAT):

Suitability assessment (where no previous DV-ACT assessment completed) - £440 (+VAT)

Programme and final report filed upon completion - £1670 (+VAT)

Please note that the suitability assessment and risk assessment will be invoiced for upon completion of that work before the start of the programme. The full programme and final report will be invoiced separately upon completion.

What happens if the client does not complete the work?

In the event that the client does not complete the programme the local authority will be charged as follows:

1-3 sessions - £1174

4-6 sessions - the full cost f the programme will apply

A final report will still be completed outlining sessions missed/attended, recommendations for further work and risk management strategies.

Working through the pandemic

We are continuing to provide assessments and programmes remotely using video call technology. For further details visit our post how-are-dv-act-completing-assessments-during-coronavirus-crisis

Further questions

If you have any further questions about the programme or wish to make a referral please contact me, Claire Verney, at or call on 0203 9678368. If you would like to discuss a specific case a call back can be arranged with one of our clinical managers.

About us

DV-ACT are a team of domestic abuse experts, available throughout the UK, who provide assessments, consultancy and training to local authorities and the family courts. Our experts have decades of experience working directly with domestic abuse perpetrators and victims, as specialist assessors and as expert witnesses in the family courts.

DV-ACT was formed with the aim of using our expertise to help safeguard children from abuse, this is at the heart of everything that we do.


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