Partnership between the police in an organization to support violent men

Clara Descurninges, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — Supporting violent men in their learning of better behaviors: this is the bet taken by the Richelieu―Saint-Laurent intermunicipal police board, in collaboration with Entraide pour hommes (EPH).

A psychosocial worker specializing in domestic violence has been sworn in by the police and can therefore “consult all event reports”, explains the director general of EPH, Geneviève Landry, in a telephone interview.

The worker is responsible for « contacting the perpetrator » within 24 to 72 hours following a police intervention in order to create a bond of trust with him and refer him to the organization’s support program. .

“The men are very relieved to have that call,” says Ms. Landry. Since the beginning of the pilot project, in mid-May, « 50% of the men we have reached agree to receive help, and the 50% who refuse, it is never a categorical refusal ».

“It is sure that a police arrest, it is really a shock”, she supports. “He is left to himself, he does not know the resources” and this stress leads to “an even higher risk of recidivism”.

She recalls that in the wave of feminicides that hit Quebec in the last two years, “all these men were known to the police”. Thus, in addition to supervising the violent spouse, the worker can help to better assess his risk factors. “Obsessive jealousy, kidnapping, harassment” are often antecedents that men who have killed their spouses have, she gives as an example.

Support violent men

According to Ms. Landry, “if we do not intervene with the perpetrator, we will not stop the cycle of domestic violence”.

EPH offers a 20-week workshop. This first seeks to teach the use of mechanisms to curb violent behavior. But for that, we must raise awareness of everything that domestic violence encompasses, because even today, « many people do not know what it is » and only know its physical manifestations, she explains, while abuse can also be in the form of « verbal, psychological abuse, jealousy, control ».

Then, the group learns to become aware of “the impact that these behaviors have on those around them”, to “develop their empathy” and to “work on their cognitive distortions”.

But here again, we must not take for granted that all violent spouses are identical and need the same interventions, warns Ms. Landry: « Domestic violence is always a choice, but there are some for whom the choice is conscious and there are some for whom the choice is not conscious. Some may engage in what is called “intimate terrorism” and willfully create a climate of terror, while others tend to be more dependent and set up “a dynamic of jealousy and obsession,” she notes. Still others become violent in response to situational stress and tension.

In 2021, EPH intervened in 670 situations of domestic violence in an area covering Vallée-du-Richelieu, Maskoutains, Samuel-de-Champlain and Pierre-Boucher.

The organization hopes that the model of collaboration with the police service will be replicated elsewhere in Quebec. Ms. Landry also wants to see more resources appear for violent women and adolescents.


If you are experiencing a situation of domestic violence, you can call SOS Violence conjugale at 1-800-363-9010 for immediate assistance. The service is free, anonymous and available 24 hours a day.

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = ""; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));


Back to top button