Expert risk assessments of parents where violence or abuse within the family is a concern

Ahimsa (Safer Families) Ltd is an independent agency providing expert assessments and specialist treatment and safety planning programmes for parents where domestic violence or child abuse is the primary child protection concern. Based near Plymouth, we operate primarily throughout the south and south west of England.

We are a small team with multi-disciplinary backgrounds and many years' experience in the field of domestic violence and child abuse. Staff act as consultants in the field, and have been commissioned by many UK and overseas organisations to design and deliver initiatives in various aspects of domestic violence intervention, including risk assessment.

In light of the chronic problems associated with traditional psychological and psychiatric approaches to risk assessment in cases involving family violence, the shortcomings of psychometric testing, and the absence of reliable standardised risk assessment instruments for this population, the agency has developed a structured professional research-based risk assessment protocol for use in family law proceedings, in which we have acted as expert witnesses for nearly twenty years.

We have extensive clinical experience of working with men (both individually and in groups) with histories of violent and abusive behaviours (this has included domestic homicide offenders on life licence, and sex offenders, both in community and prison settings). Our practice also involves working for change with violent women, supporting both male and female victims of domestic abuse, and working with violent and abusive parents. We have also developed a therapeutic approach to working with mothers to enhance their ability to protect their children.

Ahimsa (Safer Families) Limited © 2004