Men in transition | Abrigo Centre

By: Abrigo  09-12-2011

Since 1997, our Partner Assault Response Program (PAR), Men in Transition has been servicing the Portuguese and English speaking communities. The Men in Transition program provides men who have been charged in domestic violence situations and ordered by the criminal justice system to attend counselling. This program is 16 weeks and is an opportunity for men to learn about the effects of their abusive behaviour on their partners, their children, themselves and on our communities.

With continued support from the Ministry of the Attorney General, we are able to facilitate 4 groups and our program sees over 170 clients a year. Our clients work on developing positive coping mechanisms to deal with their anger as well as their power and control issues. The group also explores healthy relationships and its benefits. We endeavour to provide an atmosphere that is both respectful and accountable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are clients referred to the Men in Transition program Abrigo Centre?
Clients are referred to the PAR program at Abrigo Centre either by the Domestic Violence Specialized courts through Woman Abuse Council or through their probation officer.
How are victims supported by Abrigo Centre while perpetrators attend the PAR group counselling program?
Victim safety is the primary objective of the PAR program. To this end victims are provided with support by information sharing through a counsellor who assists with information sharing on domestic violence, safety planning and referral to other appropriate support programs for victims of domestic violence either through Abrigo Centre or other service providers.
Is there any cost to the clients for participating in PAR program at Abrigo Centre?
As part of taking responsibility, the Ministry of Attorney General has implemented a fee policy for each session according to each individual’s income on a pro-rated sliding scale. Please note for clients to be considered for reduced fee financial information is required.
How are individuals made accountable once they have entered the PAR Program?
Periodic reports are sent to the Early Plea courts or Probation and Parole Officers. Included in these reports is attendance, participation, absences and information on any outstanding fees.
What is the PAR program (known as "Men in Transition" at Abrigo Centre)?
Partner Assault Response Program (PAR) is a specialized program for individuals who have been physically violent/and or emotionally abusive or controlling towards a spouse or partner i.e. assault, death threat or criminal harassment. The goals of the PAR Program are to: enhance victim safety and to increase offender’s accountability.
In 1997 Specialized Domestic Violence courts were established in order to create new strategies for working with abusive men and their partners. Models for the courts were devised through extensive discussion among representatives of the criminal justice system, community based agencies, and survivors of abuse.In order to prosecute domestic violence offenders more effectively and efficiently, two basic frameworks were developed: an Early Plea Court and the Coordinated Prosecution Court. An integral component of both models is a 16-week counselling program that the offender must attend as a condition of bail (early plea) or probation (coordinated prosecution). When the specialized courts were established, the Ministry of the Attorney General stated that due to the risk and the need for quality control, the agencies working with offenders had to be accredited and must work with WACT (Woman Abuse Council of Toronto).
The PAR Program at Abrigo Centre has been running since 1997 and has been formerly named Men in Transition-Homens em Transição.
What is the structure of the PAR program?
Individuals are mandated to attend an orientation session prior to starting the PAR program. During orientation it is expected that individuals accept responsibility for their actions/charges. Individuals are screened, and provided with program information. In order to attend the PAR program individuals must sign a contract before they are assigned a group.Groups run once per week for 16 weeks. Abrigo Centre runs a Portuguese group on Monday evenings and English groups on Tuesday Wednesday evenings (7-9pm) and Saturday mornings(10.30am -12.30 pm). There are currently three counsellors running the PAR program.
What topics/issues are covered in the PAR program at Abrigo Centre?
Topics that are covered include:• “Taking responsibility”
• Impact of violence on children
• healthy relationships
• gender stereotypes
• communication styles
• resolving conflict
• self-esteem
• cycle of abuse
• types of abuse
• time-outs
• understanding anger

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