The CHOICES programme is a national intervention programme introduced by COSC as part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender based Violence 2016-21.
MOVE Ireland, MEND and the Probation Service all deliver the same programme. It is a professionally led group intervention to enable men to learn from and support each other.
Participants also receive up to ten individual sessions. The purpose of the individual session is to assess suitability for the intervention, prepare the men for group work, goal setting and follow up support to prevent relapse.
The group functions as a rolling group so that when a man completes the sessions he is replaced by another man.
The sessions take place weekly and the number of individual sessions and group sessions that men are required to attend is 33 sessions. It is essential that men attend the whole programme and are committed to changing behaviour.
Much of this work is cognitive behavioural focusing on motivation, responsibility safety and acknowledgment.
Groups are often arranged in modules on particular themes and will help participants to:
- Learn about the effects and consequences of domestic violence on their partner and family.
- Participate in group sessions with other individuals who have behaved in a similar way.
- Talk openly about their behaviour and the people affected by it.
- Identify the beliefs and attitudes which underpin violence and abuse.
- Cope with their behaviour and feelings in difficult situations.
- Learn how to react without being abusive.
- Learn about respect and responsible parenting.
- Learn to understand and recognise the need to change their behaviour.
In areas where it is not possible to run a group programme, individual sessions may be offered.
Partner Contact Service
Women’s Support Service is also offered to men’s current/ex partners to give independent support whilst he is on the programme and 3 months after he is left the programme. This is an integral part of the programme. Whilst every effort is made to engage with the current or ex-partner, MOVE Ireland fully appreciates that some women will chose not to take up the offer of support.