A new service to support young people aged between 11 and 15 who are showing signs of abusive behaviours has been launched in South Yorkshire.
The Level Up programme has been funded by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings and will be delivered by the social justice charity, Cranstoun for a 12 month period.
Cranstoun will work with up to 100 secondary school aged children over the next year who have been identified by social workers, police, teachers and other professionals as pupils who are showing abusive behaviours towards parents, siblings and intimate partners.
The programme for each young person will run as 10 bespoke one-to-one sessions, and will focus on how aggression, conflict and anger can impact on people close to the young people.
A team of specialist workers will be working with the young people to bring about change. They will also provide support to the families and partners who have been subject to abuse.
The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings said: “We know that while some young women and some men are teenage victims of domestic abuse, others are perpetrators. However, there is currently little support available for perpetrators to help them recognise their abusive behaviour and change their ways.
“This scheme will provide a much-needed service to fill this gap. Its aim is to help change the behaviours of predominantly young men. By providing education and support at a young age we hope to prevent their behaviour growing worse as years go by and to stop them committing domestic abuse crimes later in life. This will improve the quality of their life now as well as preventing future partners from becoming victims.”
Funding of £108K for the scheme has been secured through a bid to the Home Office Perpetrator Fund (£66,666) and money from the Police and Crime Commissioner (£41,334).
Cranstoun also work across the region to tackle adult domestic abuse perpetrators behaviour, which they hope will be able to complement this new programme.
Wayne Grocott, Service Manager for South Yorkshire, said: “This new programme will help us to make the really important early interventions with young people causing harm in a domestic setting.
“By getting to the root causes and addressing these abusive behaviours at a younger age we want to ensure that they do not go unchallenged into adulthood where they could have an even more damaging impact on others and their own futures.”