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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 05:25 GMT 06:25 UK
Domestic violence course launched
People who commit domestic violence are being offered the opportunity to try to change their ways.

Aggressive and violent partners can learn how to understand their behaviour on the Prevention of Domestic Abuse course at the University of Derby.

16 men have already successfully completed a 20-week programme.

The scheme features one-to-one therapy looking at what triggers their aggression, the warning signs and how they can cope and reduce the anger.

Ongoing work

Margaret Smith, course founder, said: "The study is about understanding how perpetrators of domestic violence interpret the world in a hostile way which leads them to let their emotions take control.

"The success of the research study relies on self-reporting measures, relying on the participants to be honest.

"Some aggressive behaviours are developed in childhood and if sufferers have not developed adequate boundaries to deal with their emotions, aggression can be the result.

"The initial results are encouraging, but we plan to keep in contact with our clients to see how they cope several months on to see if their patterns of behaviour have changed over time."

The scheme is based at the university's Clinical Skills Suite which features counselling rooms, hospital beds, radiography facilities and two-way mirrors to monitor behaviour.

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