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According to the United Nations, 736 million women, almost 1 in 3 globally, have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both, at least once in their life.

ESN member, the Directorate for Social and Health Services of the Municipality of Cluj-Napoca in Romania decided to address this issue by joining a  2-year EU-funded project “The Other Side of the Story: Perpetrators in Change (OSSPC).”

Implemented between 2020-2022 by partners from the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Romania, the project aimed at preventing further domestic violence and changing violent behavioural patterns by increasing frontline workers’ knowledge and understanding of the dynamics behind domestic violence and abuse and of the typical beliefs, values, and tactics of perpetrators.

 “Perpetrator programmes play a crucial role in breaking the cycle of violence. Most abusive men will not change their behaviour without an external and structured intervention,” said Crina Moisa, Policy Officer, Directorate for Social and Health Services, Cluj-Napoca City Council.

Thanks to the project, over 60 frontline workers were trained in each country of the project consortium. The project partners produced a Manual for Developing Minimum Standards for Perpetrator Behavior Change Programs and a protocol of collaboration in domestic violence and perpetrator intervention programmes was concluded and signed by 11 public institutions, NGOs and a private law firm.

Looking forward, the OSSPC Project plays a key role in spotlighting the need of adopting non-violent behaviour in interpersonal relationships and lays the foundations for the establishment of a centre for perpetrators in the following years.

Find more information about the OSSPC project here