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‘It’s Up2U – Creating Healthier Relationships’

Up2U, an innovative new programme which will work with Domestic Abuse perpetrators who recognise they use abusive behaviours and want to change to create healthier relationships, launched last week 

Safer Poole Partnership, in collaboration with the Office of the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Dorset Families Matter and Dorset Police, launched the Up2U programme across Poole and Weymouth & Portland. 

Up2U is an innovative programme for people who use domestically abusive behaviours in their intimate partner relationships. 

Up2U recognises that people use domestic abuse for different underlying reasons ranging from power and control, learned behaviour, attitudes that promote male dominance, lack of emotional management skills and poor conflict resolution.

Therefore Up2U is an assessment led intervention programme, responding to individual need, risk and responsiveness by offering tailored packages that include: 

•   Length of programme – this can range from 6 sessions to 40 sessions, with the option of extended sessions where risk and need indicate; 

•   Intensity of delivery - for very high risk individuals sessions can be delivered two times per week; 

•   Delivered 1-2-1 as many people cannot access or may be disruptive in a group environment; 

•   Modules and sessions delivered to each individual will be matched to their typology and need, with modules and sessions selected from: 

o   Module 1 Engagement and Assessment 

o   Module 2 Thinking, Feeling and Behaviour 

o   Module 3 Relationships 

o   Module 4 Skills for Change 

o   Module 5 Targeted Sessions – Stalking Behaviours 

o   Module 6 Targeted Sessions – Unhealthy Sexual Behaviours 

o   Module 7 Targeted Sessions - Skills for Change 2 – Complex Emotions 

o   Module 8 Targeted Sessions – Abuse and Substance Misuse 

o   Module 9 Moving On 

Up2U can be tailored to work with both males and females from the age of 16 and can be delivered to people who use domestically abusive behaviours in same sex relationships. 

When someone is accepted onto Up2U support is offered to their partner/ex-partner to ensure ongoing safety and risk management. 

The programme has been developed by Portsmouth City Council and practitioners across Poole and Weymouth & Portland had the opportunity to hear more about the programme and the referral process at its official launch. 

The programme will run as a pilot over a two and half year period and will initially accept referrals from social care services and Dorset Police. The programme will be fully evaluated to monitor outcomes in conjunction with Portsmouth City Council and Portsmouth University. 

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “It is vital to fund domestic abuse perpetrator programmes as I am keen to see the cycle of domestic abuse broken. Families affected by domestic abuse are often a hidden population. Victims don’t often report abuse or ask for help because of the perceived impact on their relationship. I am really proud of the work that is happening across Dorset, to reduce the risk of perpetrators moving from one victim to another by enabling them to change their behaviour.”

Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Strategic Community Safety, Borough of Poole, said: "We know statistically that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will have experienced domestic abuse in their lifetime. The team has dedicated itself over several years to ensure services for victims are sustained and that victims have the opportunity to be heard and supported. We recognise that in order to break the cycle of violence, we need to work holistically with victims and perpetrators to change behaviours, which will lead to healthier relationships. The Up2U programme will do exactly that and I am pleased we have the opportunity to develop and deliver the model here in Poole.” 

Amy Ford, Up2U Business and Development Manager, Portsmouth City Council, said: "Portsmouth City Council are delighted to be working with Poole and Dorset to launch Up2U. We look forward to working together over the next couple of years."

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