Putting children and young people first in the family courts


Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes (DVPP)


Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes (DVPPs) are delivered in private law cases in the family courts, under sections 11A-G Children Act 1989 (as amended by the Children and Adoption Act 2006) as a court ordered activity. 


DVPPs are designed for use in some types of cases where domestic abuse has been identified as a concern related to a family proceedings case. DVPP is a group programme for men to develop their skills and understanding, enabling them to:

  • Improve their relationship with their ex-partner and where relevant, their current partner
  • Ensure, as far as is possible, their use of violence and abusive behaviour towards a partner is not repeated
  • Develop safe, positive parenting
  • Increase their awareness of themselves and the effect of the domestic abuse on their ex-partner and children
  • Resolve conflicts in intimate relationships non-abusively


DVPP groups are of between 8-12 participants, take place outside working time and weekly sessions last for between 2 and 2.5 hours over about six months. Every DVPP has a parallel service that supports partners and ex-partners at risk from domestic abuse and this service is offered to the partner and ex-partner of any person assessed for the DVPP.


In all cases referred by the courts DVPP providers will assess an individual’s suitability for the programme. Cafcass is available to provide advice to the court about suitability and appropriateness of requiring participation in DVPP, and the management of contact during and after DVPP, depending on progress.


The DVPP reports back to Cafcass on attendance, participation and significant changes in risk during attendance and at the end of the programme, thus enabling this information to be reported to the court.


Child contact must be safe and appropriate before, during, and following any DVPP, in line with the child's welfare, also taking account of the safety needs of the other parent.  Relevant guidance about these types of cases is set out in ‘Contact and Domestic Violence’ (Sturge and Glaser; Fam Law Sept 2000) and the Practice Direction: 12J Child Arrangements and Contact Order: Domestic Violence and Harm (22 April 2014).


The DVPP course is free in private law cases, to any participants ordered to attend by court. Further information for service users is available in the DVPP Factsheet and the Domestic Abuse Factsheet



You can find a list of DVPP providers in your area in the Commissioned Services Directory of Resources.

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