Wales This Week: Love Hurts

Atal Y Fro has piloted a controversial project to tackle domestic abuse. Credit: ITV News

Tonight Wales This Week looks at a controversial pilot project run by a Welsh charity working with perpetrators of domestic abuse. Traditionally charities have been working with victims but Atal Y Fro, based in Barry, has adopted a unique model from New Zealand and works with perpetrators as well.

Its view is that two thirds of couples they see want to stay together so, given that abusers will go on to carry on abusing, it's better to try and help the men as well. The charity wants couples who want to stay together, stay safe or part amicably. It would never try to get couples to stay together if they didn't want to, and many people would not be advised to stay in a violent relationship.

The Hayes talk candidly about their marriage and how Michael realised after over four decades of abuse he was a Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Wales This Week has revealing interviews with a couple in their 70s who've been married for 46 years and decided to stay together despite violence.

In 2011 Michael Hayes, now 76, tried to kill his wife Jane. He went to prison for actual bodily harm and making threats to kill. A restraining order was placed on him preventing him from contacting his wife. But Jane wanted him home on his release.

Atal Y Fro applied to the courts to get the restraining order lifted and succeeded on the third attempt. The charity wanted to make sure Michael had changed and that Jane was safe, so they've been offering Jane ongoing support.

he project is being independently evaluated by Cardiff Metropolitan University Credit: ITV News

The project at Atal Y Fro with perpetrators is being independently evaluated by a team of forensic psychologists at Cardiff Metropolitan University. They will report their findings in March 2015.

Tune in tonight at 8pm to watch 'Wales This Week: Love Hurts.'