Essex domestic abusers project expands to Basildon

A project to help men stop being abusive towards their partners is being expanded across Essex.

The Essex Change programme, which helps abusers acknowledge and take responsibility for their actions, is to be rolled out in Basildon next month.

The project, which has run for three years, currently has centres in Chelmsford, Colchester and Harlow.

Men who are referred to the scheme take part in a course of 27 sessions to help them break their cycle of violence.

The manager of the charity, Tanya Woodgate, said there was a demand for the service in south Essex.

Intensive format

She said: "The scheme has been brought to Basildon because a high number of our referrals come from the area.

"That doesn't generally mean there's more domestic abuse in that area, I think county-wide it is a problem.

"I think it's just that Basildon has been maybe more proactive in generating referrals."

People will be referred to the new group through Basildon Council, the police and probation services.

Mrs Woodgate said the course was not about anger management, but more to do with dealing with specific behaviour traits.

She said: "It's generally about power and control, so we look at that in the programme and why one needs to exert that power or control over somebody, when actually they don't need to."

There will also be a support service for partners and ex-partners of the men enrolled on the course.

Each group currently takes up to 12 people at a time and takes place over half a year.

The Basildon programme will trial a more intensive format of the 27 sessions over 18 weeks, so that an extra group can be run during the year.

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