The Compass Programme

Support for men that have been the victim in an abusive relationship.

The Compass Programme is a specialist resource designed to help male survivors recover from their experience following self-acknowledgement of having been the victim in an abusive relationship. It provides a unique opportunity for men affected by domestic abuse to share their experiences with other victims in a safe and supportive environment.

Attending the Compass Programme, male survivors can:

  • Increase their self-confidence and motivation.
  • Improve their self-efficacy.
  • Become more resilient and aware of the signs of domestic violence and abuse.
  • Increase their mental well-being and positivity.
  • Be part of a unique supportive network with other male survivors.

The Compass Programme is made up of 13-micro-sessions and is led by an experienced facilitator in a group setting with other survivors. The programme covers several different topics including:

  • Recognising and understanding domestic violence & abuse
  • Stereotyping and perceptions of domestic violence & abuse
  • Post-Separation Abuse
  • The affects of domestic abuse on Children
  • Domestic violence & abuse law
  • Healthy future relationships

It was reported that 751,000 men aged 16 years and over experienced a form of domestic abuse in England and Wales in the last year (source: CSEW March 2023). Men experiencing abuse will traditionally find it very difficult to access support because of several reasons including:

  • The fear of not being believed (lack of trust in services)
  • Reduced masculinity or a reluctance to identify as a victim (shame/embarrassment)
  • Fear of losing access to their children
  • Fear of potential reprisal (partner violence or abuse)

The programme duration is a minimum of 12 weeks (2 hours a week) and is designed for groups of between 4-6 men to ensure best outcomes.

To date over 95% of male victims attending the programme report that they now better understand the experience they have been through and feel more confident about their own well-being and the potential for a healthy relationship in the future.

‘Knowing that there are other men out there who are going through it did help me really because you know, when you’re going through it, you don’t really know what’s going on out there. You’re stuck in that bubble you know. Um, it was really difficult’ (Service user).

 

The Compass Programme was independently evaluated during the Spring of 2020 by Dr.Sarah Wallace and Prof. Carolyn Wallace of the University of South Wales to establish the impacts of attendance on mental well-being, resilience and self-efficacy following their experience as a victim of domestic violence and abuse. The full evaluation can be read here.