Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program

PAR Program

Our Partner Assault Response Program (PAR), internally known as Men in Transition, has been servicing the Portuguese and English speaking communities since 1997. The PAR program is a Domestic Violence Court initiative that delivers a specialized community-based group education and counselling program to offenders who have been mandated by the court to attend the PAR program in response to a criminal charge involving domestic violence. The PAR Program is a court-ordered sanction that provides offenders with an opportunity to examine their beliefs and attitudes towards domestic abuse, and to learn non-abusive ways of resolving conflict. PAR programs aim to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their behaviour. With continued support from the Ministry of the Attorney General, we are able to facilitate four on-going groups and see over 200 clients a year.


Frequently Asked Questions

How are clients referred to the Men in Transition program Abrigo Centre?
Individuals may be referred to the Program through the Early Intervention or the Coordinated Prosecution streams of the Domestic Violence Court Program, or as a condition of a Section 810 Peace Bond Order. In addition, individuals who have been convicted of a non-domestic violence offence and have been identified as being abusive or controlling to a partner (and have been referred to PAR by a supervising Probation and Parole Officer), may also be referred to the Program.
How are victims supported by Abrigo Centre while perpetrators attend the PAR group counselling program?
Partner contact is intended to be a service to the victim/partner. The purpose of initiating and maintaining partner contact throughout the offender’s involvement with the PAR program is to:

• provide safety planning, support and information to victims/partners
• reduce isolation
• provide referrals to community resources that may assist the victim/partner
• provide information to the victim/partner that may help them to make informed decisions about their safety and their relationship with the offender
Is there any cost to the clients for participating in PAR program at Abrigo Centre?
As part of taking responsibility, there is a fee for each session. Clients are given the opportunity to apply for a fee reduction, should they wish to do so, and the fee will be based according to each individual’s income on a pro-rated sliding scale. Please note that for clients to be considered for reduced fee, their financial information is required.

I have been ordered to attend the PAR Program at Abrigo Centre; what should be my first step?
In order for you to enroll, completing a PAR Intake is the required first step; you may call us or present yourself in person for the intake process. Please note: When you contact us, please make sure you have a minimum of twenty minutes available so that we may complete the PAR Intake with you. Once the intake is completed, we will provide you with a PAR Orientation appointment date.

During the PAR Orientation the PAR Program and its principles will be reviewed with you. The counsellors will explain the Client Agreement and Fee Policy, and once you have agreed and signed the terms of the Partner Assault Response Program Client Agreement and Fee Policy, you will be enrolled in the PAR Program. Once the PAR Orientation is completed, we will provide you with a PAR Program start date.

The PAR Orientation may take up to two hours.
What if I do not speak English (or Portuguese)?
Interpreters are provided for those who need them at no cost to the participant.
What is the PAR program (known as "Men in Transition" at Abrigo Centre)?
The PAR program is a Domestic Violence Court initiative that delivers a specialized community-based group education/counseling program to offenders who have been mandated by the court to attend the PAR program in response to a criminal charge involving domestic violence. The PAR Program is a court-ordered sanction that provides offenders with an opportunity to examine their beliefs and attitudes towards domestic abuse, and to learn non-abusive ways of resolving conflict. PAR programs aim to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their behaviour.

Program Principles
• Domestic violence is a crime.
• Abusive behaviour is a choice.
• Abuse is the sole responsibility of the abuser.
• Abusive behaviour is not an anger management problem.
• Victims/partners are entitled to receive support, safety planning and referrals to community services.
• Victims/partners have a right to information about the PAR program, its philosophy, structure, content and limitations.
• PAR programs must not operate in isolation from other Violence against Women (VAW) community stakeholders.
• Domestic violence offenders and victims/partners have the right to be treated with respect.

What is the structure of the PAR program?
Individuals are mandated to attend an orientation session prior to starting the PAR program. During the PAR Orientation the PAR Program and its principles will be reviewed with you. The counsellors will explain the Client Agreement and Fee Policy, and once you have agreed and signed the terms of the Partner Assault Response Program Client Agreement and Fee Policy, you will be enrolled in the PAR Program. Once the PAR Orientation is completed, we will provide you with a PAR Program start date.

The PAR Program is twelve-weeks in length, once a week for two hours every week. Clients choose which group they prefer to go into. English groups run on Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm and Saturday mornings from 10:30am to 12:30pm.

Portuguese group runs on Monday evenings from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
What topics/issues are covered in the PAR program at Abrigo Centre?
Topics that are covered include:

• How Beliefs and Attitudes Affect Behaviour;
• Domestic Violence - Defining Abuse;
• The Effects of Abuse on Children, Partners and Self;
• Understanding Triggers / Warning Signs
• The Impact of Substance Abuse;
• Healthy Relationships;
• Respectful Communication;
• Dealing with Conflict;
• Responsibility and Accountability.
There will be homework assignments throughout the twelve weeks. If you have issues with reading or writing, please let the counsellors of the PAR Program know; arrangements can be made for the counselor to meet with you in office in order to complete the assigned tasks.

Back to top