PIONEERING domestic violence project which helps perpetrators through anger management, is at risk of closure.
STOP (Start Treating Others Positively) based in city centre Leeds could close at the end of May, after it’s latest four year Lottery grant runs out.
More funding is desperately needed say the project’s bosses, who claim that the annual cost to mop up the cost of domestic violence is £320 million in Leeds alone.
At present around 80 people are helped through four classes, including a class for women, where they learn how to focus and manage their negative emotions in a positive way to prevent further violent and abusive outbursts.
Manager Kathy Grogan, said: “We see 60 to 80 people every week, men as well as women, many refer themselves if they see our posters in GP surgeries. We are literally a lifeline for those who want to stop abusing. They want to stop the violence which affects their lives and for many, that of their partners and children. There is no other service like us in Leeds and literally no one else to support them.”
She said they were desperate for funding and hopeful that someone may make a donation to save their service.
Founded 25 years ago, the project is the first of its kind in West Yorkshire to offer help for people who abuse their partners and families through verbal and physical assaults.
Bosses say the group sessionsm held at the city centre office in Duncan street, near Leeds Corn Exchange, saves hundreds of thousands of pounds for the West Yorkshire authorities. Ms Grogan said: “We help everyday people to manage their violent, abusive, destructive emotions and behaviour and to express them appropriately.
“We estimate that we save the authorities thousands by nipping domestic violence in the bud preventing treatement at A&E, calls to police, the probation and courts system.
“We can help to stop the cycle of anger.”
Leeds City council has previously funded the service through Leeds Community safety Partnership, among others, but this had stopped in 2009 once Lottery funding was received for four years in 2009.
For more details see the website: www.stoponline.org or telephone (0113) 2446007 during office hours.
Anyone who is a victim of domestic violence should contact the domestic violence officer at their local police station by calling 101 or Leeds Women’s Aid on 0113 246-0401.