This research explores why some boys become domestic violence perpetrators and some do not. The From Boys to Men Project was a 3 year Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project. A primary aim of the research was to establish what more can be done to reduce the number of young men who become perpetrators. This research, alongside European Commission funded research into preventative education (READAPT), shows the importance of helping young people cope with the effects of domestic violence and enhancing their resilience to it. A report with recommendations was written. The recommendations were as follows:
•Preventative education should be mandatory in schools. There is also a need to engage teenage boys who have been excluded from school.
•Social marketing has the potential to open a thoroughgoing conversation between young people and adults about the nature of domestic abuse and what can be done to engage those boys and men who begin to perpetrate it.
•There is a need for service provision that addresses young men's feelings of vulnerability, rage and powerlessness while also being sensitive to the ways in which mothers and female partners can be blamed for a host of social, familial and personal problems.
•There is a need to develop skills in the field of working with younger male perpetrators.
Findings from the project have since fed into the NIHR ADVANCE Programme which is developing an intervention for drug and alcohol dependent domestic abusers that is being tested through a randomized control trial. I have led the first stream of this project, which include conducting primary interviews with couples where a male perpetrator was in treatment. This is the first study of its kind in the UK. A blog has been published on policy@manchester, and revisions are just being completed on a paper for the British Journal of Criminology. THe ADVANCE Team, and I personally, both fed into the government's consultation on Transforming the Response to Domestic Violence.