Building Better Relationships Programme helps Samuel to think first


SAMUEL was convicted of domestic assault after getting involved in a heated row with his ex-partner over access rights to his children.

The 40-year-old was sentenced in February this year by Magistrates in Southampton to an 18-month Community Order and a requirement to complete 80 hours Community Payback.

The father-of-two is supervised by probation case manager Colin Crawford at the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC). He also completed a programme aimed at stopping people from committing domestic abuse, called Building Better Relationships (BBR).

Samuel, who had never been previously convicted of a similar offence, has said that the experience combined with what he has learned on BBR has caused him to re-evaluate his life.

The military veteran said: “I wasn’t big enough to admit that I needed help and guidance, and that I was unable to deal with the passion and emotion of the situation when I committed the offence.

“My actions have caused my ex-partner to lose respect for me and my failure to control myself means that I cannot see my children. The moment I began BBR I wanted to learn. It’s given me the tools and a method to stop me from getting into trouble again.”

Samuel attends HIOW CRC’s Southampton office.

He said: “On BBR I learned how to think about other people’s perspectives – that was the greatest tool – and about how to create a time out from stressful situations so that I can think what to do before reacting impulsively.

“The ability to let go of something if you cannot change it, I’ve always struggled with that. I couldn’t comprehend how to do it. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying. BBR has helped me so much.”

Samuel has completed BBR and Community Payback, which involves doing unpaid work for the community, without missing a single appointment.

He said: “I wasn’t able to cry. I wasn’t able to be honest. In Jamaica there’s a prevalent view that being a man is often based on dominance. I was also in the army. I liked things running like clockwork and wanted the world to fit in around me. “Learning that life’s not like that is a big deal, and I’ve only just taken the first steps. But I am trying.”

Colin described Samuel as “the best example of what BBR can achieve that I’ve ever seen”.

He added: “Samuel would be the first to admit that he failed to manage his emotions in what was a heated and unpleasant incident. But from the outset he has approached probation with an open mind and as someone who wanted to learn.

“Samuel is humble and polite. Within the group setting he encouraged other participants and challenged behaviour that he felt was inappropriate, which is a very powerful element of what programmes seek to achieve.”

Samuel is about to marry and is committed to change.

Samuel added: “My children are my world and I understand that my actions hurt my ex-partner and also hurt my kids. I want to do everything within my power to stop that from ever reoccurring.”