The Partner Assault Response (PAR) program is a Domestic Violence Court initiative that delivers a specialized community-based group education/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.
This program, funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Ontario Victim Services, is a court-ordered sanction. Eligibility for the program is determined by the Crown Attorney and/or Probation office. It aims to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their behaviour by providing participants with an opportunity to learn to:
- To understand why abuse occurs in relationships.
- To identify behaviors that are abusive.
- To understand what attitudes, feelings and intentions underlie abusive actions.
- The effect of abuse on women and children.
- The impact of abuse on you and your relationships.
- Alternative ways to deal with problems in your relationships.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are groups offered and to whom
PAR groups are currently offered in various locations across Simcoe County mainly: Barrie, Orillia, Midland and Collingwood. The program is offered to both men and women. How often the program is run and when varies based on location. All participants must be referred through probation or the court system and are required to complete an intake prior to being enrolled in a group.
Catholic Family Services aims to provide a safe and accessible space for anyone referred to the program. Group accommodations can be made for clients identifying in same sex relationships, or in need of translation services.
How many weeks will I have to attend the PAR program?
The PAR program runs for 12 weeks. All participants are required to complete all sessions.
Do I have to pay a fee for this program?
Yes, all participants are required to pay a fee. Your fee will be determined during intake based on your income and our sliding scale. You must pay all of your fees, in full. Failure to pay will result in a Failure to Comply report being forwarded to the Court and/or Probation.
Can I be discharged from the program before completing 12 sessions?
Yes, there are several grounds upon which a person can be discharged from the program. They include:
- Late for group (on more than one occasion without a reasonable explanation)
- Disruptive in group (on more than one occasion)
- Assaulted or threatened your victim/partner.
- Attended a session impaired by alcohol or some other drug.
- Missed a session (without a reasonable explanation or notification)
- Refusal to pay the negotiated client fee
- Being abusive or threatening towards agency staff, students, volunteers, clients or PAR program participant.
What topics are covered during the PAR program?
There are nine mandatory topics that are covered, including:
- Domestic Violence – Defining Abuse
- How Beliefs and Attitudes Affect Behaviour
- 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
What happens when I finish the program?
A closing report is completed by PAR staff outlining how you did over the course of the 12 week program. The closing report is sent to the courts or your probation officer. They will read the report and determine if you have fulfilled the conditions of your court order or probation requirements.