Glossary for the National Outcome Standards for Perpetrator Interventions

The system that holds perpetrators to account

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The system that holds perpetrators to account

Perpetrator accountability system – this is the overarching name used in the NOSPI for the range of different interventions that our governments and community partners make in response to identified acts of domestic, family and sexual violence. The primary aims of the perpetrator accountability system are to stop perpetrators’ violence, hold perpetrators accountable for their violence and ensure women and children are safe and free from violence.

There are different but connected layers in the perpetrator accountability system. First, there are targeted perpetrator interventions that engage with a perpetrator directly because of their violence, or risk of perpetrating, domestic, family or sexual violence. This includes but is not limited to the structures, agencies and programmes which make decisions or orders that directly relate to perpetrators’ interactions with the women and children against whom they have used violence. It also includes programmes and services that work directly with the perpetrator with the purpose of enabling him to change his violent behaviours and attitudes.

These may utilise an individualised case management strategy to plan a treatment pathway; monitor ongoing compliance and risk; and motivate a perpetrator to engage effectively with treatment.

There are also a range of services and programmes that are not directly targeted at addressing the perpetrator’s violent acts but instead engage with a perpetrator to address his other associated issues that can amplify the impact of his violence or affect his readiness to change.

In addition, there are mainstream services that play an important role in maintaining women and their children’s safety while other services engage directly with the perpetrator. The supporting services include but are not limited to women’s support and crisis services.

The NOSPI Scope diagram (in the COAG paper) provides a visual depiction, examples and written description of the broad range of systems, structures, services and programmes that make up the perpetrator accountability system.

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