Home > Addressing unadjudicated domestic abuse: an evaluation of the promoting positive relationships programme.

McFarland, Kirsten (2022) Addressing unadjudicated domestic abuse: an evaluation of the promoting positive relationships programme. Irish Probation Journal, 19, pp. 172-191.

External website: https://www.probation.ie/EN/PB/0/FBA413E8982995D18...

It is widely recognised that domestic-abuse programmes primarily target criminal justice-involved offenders, court mandated to attend treatment, following a domestic abuse conviction. This has identified a need for the development of an early intervention programme that is more preventative in its approach, by aiming to address unadjudicated domestic abuse. In response, the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) was funded by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health to develop and implement the Promoting Positive Relationships Programme (PPRP). Delivered by the PBNI, the PPRP is a community-based programme designed for adult males who have demonstrated the potential to be abusive in intimate partner relationships and whose children have been assessed as at risk by social services within the Health and Social Care System in Northern Ireland (HSCNI).

In conjunction with the ‘what works’ literature, the consistent self-evaluation of criminal justice-led programmes is fundamental in providing facilitators and stakeholders with an invaluable aid to develop, manage and increase programme effectiveness. On this basis, the current research aimed to evaluate the initial effectiveness of the PPRP, whilst in its pilot period from 2018 to 2021. Specifically, this was to inform an internal evaluation for the PBNI and to aid the implementation and development of this unique approach to domestic abuse intervention in Northern Ireland.

A pre- and post- quasi-experimental design was implemented to evaluate the changes in psychometric scores of 51 participants who had completed the PPRP within the pilot period. Analysis indicated that participants of the PPRP demonstrated improvements on 20 of the 25 psychometric measures, five of which were statistically significant. Overall, the findings indicated positive changes in the thinking styles and attitudes of participants who completed the PPRP. Therefore, it was possible to deduce that, to some extent, the PPRP can assist perpetrators in addressing thinking styles associated with domestic abuse and help to develop more prosocial patterns of thinking. The implications of these findings are discussed further.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
October 2022
Page Range
pp. 172-191
The Probation Service & Probation Board for Northern Ireland
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