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Help to Change

Changing abusive behaviour

The good news is that people who abuse can change but almost always need some help to achieve it, especially where abuse has been a pattern of behaviour for some time.

Local help

Cheshire East now has a voluntary programme for people who want to stop their abuse. It is called LIFELINE.

The main aim of Lifeline is to increase the safety of partners and children and to prevent future harm in any new relationship. It offers attendees the knowledge, confidence and skills to accept responsibility for their behaviour, stop acting in an abusive way and have more positive and productive personal relationships. Any current partners and their children are also helped through the Programme.

If you want to discuss a referral for yourself or someone you know or work with, please call Cheshire Without Abuse on 01270 250390. If you are ready to make a referral use the The Lifeline Referral Form (MS Word, 241KB). Follow the instructions for safe emailing at the end of the form.

National help

People who abuse and those who want to help them can get advice and support from Respect Phoneline:

The Respect Phoneline is funded by the Home Office, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Office.

No programme or helpline or other counselling or support should prevent the criminal justice process taking its course. It is important that anyone who harms others should be held to account.

Does it work

Changing behaviour is hard work – for everyone involved. However if we want to tackle the causes of harm, and not just the symptoms, we need to engage more people in change. 

We have been working with the University of Liverpool and our lead provider to evaluate the early stages of work with those who harm others. 

The headlines are:

  • Working with perpetrators is a vital part of a whole family response
  • Safe and positive relationships with children and the involvement of Children’s Services are incentives for people to stay the course
  • There is some evidence of harm reduction even when people engage only for a time
  • We need a range of more immediate and more tailored responses to meet family need 
  • Treatment is cost effective – between £5 and £7 saved for every £1 spent

There is more information in the following reports:

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