Scrutinising programmes in Ireland by dffhrtcv3


									Scrutinising programmes in
     Thangam Debbonaire
• Department of Justice, Equality and Law
  Reform (DJELR) was investing in
  perpetrator programmes in 2003
• They wanted to know if their money was
  being well spent
• Key civil servant in post
• He wanted to save €1 million per domestic
  murder and scrutiny of the programmes
• Deep divides between programmes
               Different aims
• Some programmes wanted to demonstrate their
  programme was best or only
• Some women’s organisations wanted programmes
  shutting down
• Some wanted to know how to assess programmes
• Some programmes wanted clear framework
• Civil servant wanted proof “they work”
• Women wanted to help other women
• Programme men hated us
• I wanted to know how programmes could be fairly
    No-one got what they wanted!
• But most got something. I think I provided:
• Extended consultancy and mediation
• Literature and practice review
• Stronger coalitions
• An evaluation against the current Respect
  standard and the Ireland Task Force
• Recommendations for safe practice and a
  funding structure
•   Me
•   Consent
•   Access – lack of
•   Co-operation – coercion, persuasion, involvement
•   Infighting
•   Secrecy and outsiderness
•   Money, reputations and jobs at stake
•   Women’s lives at stake
•   Some lack of support for any/Respect standards
•   Open and disguised hostility to any pro-feminist
                    We learnt:
• Some practice unsafe and had to be stopped
• Some practitioners utterly impermeable and intransigent
  without any evidence to support their stance
• Some practitioners – usually the ones doing best work –
  very keen to learn
• Significant resistance to concept of gender inequality
• Dependency on the self help model (AA)
• A lot about how to evaluate – adapted existing tools,
  created new ones, learnt about pitfalls of evaluation of
• Lots of things that are useful for Respect accreditation
• A lot about the cohort of men on programmes in Ireland
  – data from almost all in the country in 2003
                We also learnt:
• Significant numbers of women won’t go anywhere else
• Some women’s lives changed dramatically for the better
  as a result of programmes – left safely, negotiated child
  contact, man became safe to live with, recognised he
  wasn’t going to change
• Some changed for worse
• Time Out gets misused and if women didn’t know they
  got manipulated
• Practitioners without specialist knowledge didn’t do so
  well facilitating groups
• Some superb practice and lessons about operating in
  rural areas – use of public places, SMS, social support
  networks, working round closeness of communities
              Other thoughts
• Being an outsider not completely unhelpful
• I had to be very careful who I was seen with
• The NDVIA refused to co-operate and now they don’t
  exist any more – huge wasted opportunity
• Need for minimum standards completely understood by
  majority and strongly resisted by a minority
• Resistance: absence, hostility, refusal, shutdown
• Sometimes I was cannon fodder!
• I had to defend every requirement with research and
  practice evidence
• The process improved good practice, stopped some
  unsafe practice and provided a framework for
  development of programmes

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