The Early Intervention Program (EIP) also known as the Partner Assault Response program (PAR) is a program that provides specialized group counseling to people who have been court ordered to attend due to criminal charges that involve domestic violence. The program helps attendees to better understand their beliefs surrounding domestic abuse, and presents non-abusive methods of conflict resolution. There are 12 two-hour sessions in total, offered at various times throughout the week.
Topics discussed during sessions could include:
- Communicating respectfully/non-abusively
- Understanding abuse/violence prevention
- Healthy, non-violent methods of expressing one’s feelings
- Creating support and safety plans
- Highlighting and identifying behaviours that are abusive
- Understanding the effects of violence/abuse on family members (i.e. partners, children)
If you are referred to attend the Early Intervention Program, you will be scheduled a 30-60 minute intake appointment where you will answer questions detailing the specifics of your situation and how you came to be criminally charged and mandated by the court to complete the program. You will then be given a group, a start date, and the times you will attend week-to-week. In order to better adjust to your circumstances, the program offers a sliding scale fee.
In London, Ontario, this program is administered through Changing Ways . In most cases where the prosecution agrees, you will receive a conditional discharge if you successfully complete this program. The process of receiving a conditional discharge through completing the EIP starts with a guilty plea in court. After you have pleaded guilty the prosecutor will often agree to the court allowing you to resume communication with the victim if the victim agrees. Your matter is then set to return to court on another day to give you time to finish the program. After completing the program successfully you then return to court on the date that was chosen before. If you successfully complete the program the prosecutor will recommend that you be sentenced to a conditional discharge and the judge will almost always follow the recommendation if it is supported by your criminal lawyer.