CARA (Cautioning and Relationship Abuse) is an innovative, award winning early intervention for domestic abuse offenders who have received a Conditional Caution.

CARA has been designed to increase not only awareness of domestic abuse, but also self-awareness and the motivation to address behaviours and make changes. It supports offenders in understanding what domestic abuse is, the harm their actions have caused, the impact this has had on their partners, children and relationships, and how to make different choices going forward and prevent these harmful behaviours from becoming more entrenched. The workshops offer support relevant to the needs of the participants and signpost to further specialist help, including comprehensive behaviour change programmes.

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Asked Questions

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It was an eye opener to be able to see and listen to what it’s actually about. I would encourage whoever takes this course to really pay attention because it’s thanks to this course that has given me and my partner more insight on how we can improve and maintain our relationship in a healthy way so thank you very much and I hope I am able to give back in some way or another.

Who is it for?

CARA is an intervention for first-time offenders of domestic abuse who have received a Conditional Caution by police as an alternative to prosecution. Attending CARA is part of the condition attached.

Where is it available?

CARA is currently delivered in nine police regions, with more to come on board in the near future.

Current delivery areas include:

  • Hampshire
  • Avon & Somerset
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Dorset
  • Leicestershire
  • Norfolk
  • Thames Valley
  • West Midlands
  • West Yorkshire
How long is it?

Participants take part in two full-day group workshops, four weeks apart.

What happens during the intervention?

Following police involvement in a domestic abuse incident, suitable offenders are identified and referred through clear eligibility criteria.

They attend two full-day group workshops delivered one month apart which take offenders on a journey to understand the wider context and devastating impact of domestic abuse and support them to explore, understand and manage their own personal risk factors. Through this trauma-informed approach combined with meaningful engagement and skilled facilitation, offenders are encouraged to reflect on their behaviour, attitudes and assumptions, and are supported and motivated towards change through signposting to wider support services. The group setting offers valuable opportunities for peer challenge and peer learning.

As an improved criminal justice response for victims, CARA ensures the perpetrator intervention is safe for the victim by providing regular contact and clear guidance alongside the intervention.

What do participants say about the intervention?

CARA is proven to work: A Hampshire & Isle of Wight Constabulary internal evaluation in 2021 saw a 81% reduction in future domestic abuse offending, and an evaluation in the same year by the University of Birmingham evidenced a 56% reduction of reoffending within the first 12 months.

Additionally, more than 60% of victims who are still in contact with the offender report a change in the offender’s behaviour after the first workshop.

How can I refer myself or someone else?

With CARA being a criminal justice resolution, referrals are only accepted by police.

Want to find out more?

For further information about CARA,
please email [email protected]
or call 023 8000 9898.

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