The primary focus of the PAR program is to enhance the safety of victims of domestic violence. This is achieved by providing information and support to victims, and educating and offering counselling to individuals found guilty of or pleading guilty to a charge of partner assault.
The PAR program is based on a number of principles.
Abusive behaviour is a choice. The offender’s actions are not accidental. They are chosen with the intent of controlling another person. Since abuse is a choice, the offender can choose to act non-abusively.
Abusive behaviour is not an anger management problem. Research indicates that offenders choose not to use controlling behaviours in the workplace or in the community. The offender’s choice to use violence is rarely seen publicly which is why many women (or men) are not believed when they reveal what has happened.
Abuse is the sole responsibility of the abuser. There is nothing an abused woman does to provoke or contribute to abusive behaviour.
Abuse is socially constructed, but individually willed. The PAR program reflects on the relationship between behaviour and the social and cultural values that have supported violence and discrimination against women.
Domestic violence offenders have the right to be treated with respect. Holding offenders accountable for their choices is not done in a way that mirrors their abusive or controlling behaviours toward their partner. We are committed to the principles of respect for all and maintaining an individual’s dignity.
Partner Contact supports victim safety by providing information, support, counselling and referrals. Raising awareness about abusers’ beliefs and behaviours is a key element in protecting victims from future abuse.
The Group Process is a 16 week group counselling program for people who have been violent, abusive or used any form of coercion towards a spouse/partner. The goal is to increase partner safety and offender accountability. Participants are engaged in structured exercises that help them examine their beliefs and behaviours. They are given the opportunity to understand that past choices were a means to gain power and control over their partner. There are separate groups for women who are found or have pled guilty to a charge of partner abuse. Individuals who have not been charged are welcome to register.
Fees for the 16 week group are on a sliding scale based on annual income. There is no fee for the partner contact portion of the program. Language interpretation services are available if needed.
The Partner Assault Response Program (PAR) is funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario.
Groups are available in both Kingston and Napanee - located at the east end of the plaza