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Perpetrators of violence/batterers

What are batterer programmes?

Programmes for men who have been perpetrators of intimate partner violence vary in content, scope, time duration and intensity. Most to date have been developed and implemented in wealthier, industrial countries, as well as some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, with more initiatives emerging in developing countries. Evaluations have been limited, and their results mixed. Interventions for batterers need to take extra care in ensuring that the safety of women and children is a foremost concern, given the risks to their safety if batterers return to partners and families and continue to perpetuate abuse. Learning from past lessons learned and from experts in this area is important to ensure ethical and human rights concerns are properly addressed and safeguarded.

The overall premise of programmes for perpetrators is to develop interventions that can reduce the incidence of repeat cases of violence against women (or, ‘recidivism’) by the men involved in interventions. In some countries, family violence laws require the health sector to provide services for offenders and the courts may require offenders to attend a batterer treatment programme as an alternative sentence. In other countries, programmes for perpetrators of violence are implemented as a complementary, rather than as an alternative measure, to incarceration. In some settings, judges may prefer an intermediate sanction between no action and jail time (Labriola et al., 2005).

What are some of the lessons learned with respect to working with perpetrators of intimate partner violence?

  • Evaluations of perpetrator programmes have been limited; have been primarily carried out in high-income countries; and their design poor and occasionally flawed (i.e. selection bias, low response rates, short follow-up periods and weak or no control groups). Evaluation findings on results have been mixed.
  • Meta-analysis of 40 published programme evaluations from theUnited States found that programmes are marginally or moderately successful at preventing further abuse (Gondolf 2004).
  • More positive effects are generally found among those who remain through the course of the programme. Those who completed the programmes were two-thirds less likely to physically reassault their partners as those who dropped out of programmes (Gondolf 2002).
  • The effectiveness of any batterer programme rests heavily on the intervention system that it is a part of – that is, having strong institutional capacities and coordinated referral systems in place that can ensure the safety of women and families and monitoring perpetrators. This includes timely police responses, court action, probation supervision, protection orders, services for survivors, and community norms and resources (Gondolf 2004).
  • There is a high drop-out rate in these programmes, particularly among men most likely to re-offend (identified as those who have the least to lose, as measured by education, marital status, home ownership, employment, income, and length of residency) (Feder and Forde 2000).
  • Programmes for perpetrators of violence will only effectively address a subset of the men who use violence. For high-risk men, intensive programmes are needed (Gondolf 2004).
  • Research has shown that there is often a three month threshold for counselling and that longer programmes are not necessarily more effective. This is partly explained by the fact that men who are headed for change will normally begin to do so within the three month period, while those who need longer, generally drop out of the programme within that time frame (Gondolf 2004).
  • There should be a speedy and specific court response for perpetrators who violate programmes (Gondolf 2004).

Additional Reading:

Evaluating Batterer Counseling Programs: A Difficult Task Showing Some Effects and Implications (Gondolf, 2004).  Available in English.

Violência Sexual e Saúde Mental: análise dos programas de atendimento a homens autores de violência sexual: RELATÓRIO FINAL DE PESQUISA (Toneli, 2007).  Available in Portuguese.

Notes of caution about programmes for batterers/perpetrators of intimate partner violence

  • While this is true of many violence programmes, programmes for perpetrators are often held to higher standards than other anti-violence programmes because the risks they pose may be higher. Victims often identify treatment for their husbands as a high priority and may prefer sanctions (e.g. mandatory batterer programmes) that do not jeopardize the perpetrator’s ability to earn an income (Ellsberg et al., 2001). The risks are especially high because women may choose to stay with an aggressor based on his participation in a batterer intervention programme and may feel safer under the presumption the programme will be effective, also reinforced when the programme is mandated by a judge.
  • Some experts consider that treatment programmes for offenders may actually jeopardize women’s safety also because of the lack of specific norms, trained personnel, and resources for supervision and follow-up (Velzeboer et al., 2003), thus enhancing the message that such programmes must be implemented carefully and must prioritize women’s safety.
  • Therefore, though it is important to improve evaluation of all anti-violence programmes, batterer programmes in particular should be closely monitored and soundly evaluated.
  • Some experts consider these programmes to be problematic because the additional resources allocated for them may come at the expense of services for survivors (Morrison et al., 2007).

Common characteristics of programmes for batterers/perpetrators of intimate partner violence

Although there is variety across programmes, programmes for perpetrators of violence in theUnited States operate according to available state standards which include:

  • 12 to 52 weeks of structured group intervention for approximately two hours each week (Healey et al., 1998).
  • Groups are attended by adult males. While some groups will only accept men who acknowledge that they have perpetrated intimate partner violence (Rothman et al., 2003), other groups see this acceptance of responsibility as a first challenge to be addressed by the group.
  • Group sessions are dedicated to reviewing the abuse that participants perpetrated, learning about non-violent alternatives to resolving conflict, studying the ways in which social norms or gender roles influence behaviour and examining ways in which substance abuse, stress, and negative attribution may exacerbate violent behaviour (Rothman et al., 2003).
  • Group facilitators are not necessarily mental health professionals and many programmes employ former victims and aggressors who are reformed as group leaders (Massachusetts Department of Public Health 2002).
  • Establishing and maintaining private contact with the victim of the aggressor with whom they work is essential for ongoing monitoring of aggressor’s accountability (Rothman et al., 2003).

Groups in theUK run programmes which range from 20 hours over 10 weeks to 120 hours over 48 weeks. The National Practitioners’ Network recommends programmes of 75 hours over 30 weeks, with a minimum of 50 hours over six months (Mullender and Burton 2000).

Characteristics of interventions with boys and young men who have perpetrated violence

A WHO review (Rothman et al., 2003) identified the following characteristics of programmes for boys and young men who are aggressors:

  • Wilderness programming or camping is believed to be an effective strategy for intervening with this population;
  • Teen-produced plays and dramatic presentations are frequently used for outreach and educational purposes;
  • Some practitioners seem less inclined to confront young men about abuse directly, as compared with adult intimate partner violence offenders; and
  • Few such programmes have been evaluated.

Programming Recommendations

The recommendations below provide only general guidance on batterer programmes, since it is difficult to make definitive suggestions given the limited knowledge-base to date and the fact that these programmes demonstrate only marginal success (Gondolf 2004).

Perpetrator programme provision should not dilute or divert attention away from services for survivors and children – Programmes for batterers should always be of secondary importance to meeting the needs of women and children for emergency services, outreach and care after incidents of abuse. It would also be inappropriate for programmes to divert from, or dilute, criminal justice action against perpetrators (Mullender and Burton 2000).

Considerations about the safety of partners and children need to be at the forefront of planning programmes. Women may base the decisions to leave or stay with a perpetrator on whether he has entered a programme. Perpetrator programmes should, therefore, never be set up in isolation; they need to be linked with other services that meet the support and safety needs of women and children. This includes the criminal justice system, women’s organizations, child welfare and child protection agencies, health care services and multi-agency fora (Mullender and Burton 2000).

Programmes for batterers/perpetrators should be part of a system and should not work in isolation. Programmes with perpetrators should be viewed as a critical element in an overall violence prevention effort. The most effective reduction in partner violence will occur in those communities with the strongest combination of coordinated, accountable elements. Practitioners should work to educate and support all elements of a coordinated community response (Bennett and Williams 2001).

Efforts should be made to increase the knowledge base regarding effective strategies to work with men who commit intimate partner violence – Few such programmes have been evaluated and relatively little information exists regarding promising initiatives to work with men who commit acts of intimate partner violence, particularly within developing country settings. Therefore, an effort should be made to evaluate such initiatives through rigorous evaluation designs and to disseminate this information broadly.

Evaluation designs should be methodologically sound - Evaluation designs should utilize a randomized or control group design and should assess victim’s perceptions and experiences of men’s change of behaviour (Rothman et al., 2003). Additional elements to consider when evaluating such programmes are:

  • Partner reports are the most valid and reliable measure for project evaluation because self-reporting is subject to perpetrator denial and minimization, and official data is limited because of low reporting and low prosecution rates.
  • The project evaluation should go beyond whether the violence has stopped and ask whether survivors feel safe and whether the perpetrator’s attitude towards her has improved.
  • Evaluations need to have a follow-up period of more than a year, and longer is better (Mullender and Burton 2000).
  • Evaluations should not only look at whether there has been reassault (i.e. physical abuse), but other outcomes as well, such as controlling behaviour, threats and verbal abuse, and the woman’s quality of life and overall well-being (Gondolf 2004).

All programmes with perpetrators should be monitored closely for transparency, accountability and the safety of victims. Whenever possible, new programmes should ensure that evaluation is built-in from the beginning and that, preferably, it is externally conducted (Mullender and Burton 2000).

All perpetrator programmes must be aware of, and take steps to address, the issue of low completion rates. Some of the actions to this end may include:

  • Referring men to programmes as quickly as possible and actively pursuing non-compliance with realistic sanctions, including criminal justice interventions such as arrest warrants.
  • Implementing alternative sanctions, such as, an insistence that the man begins the programme again or that the man place money and a signed confession at his partner’s disposal.
  • Using specific strategies to encourage men’s involvement, such as implementing pre-entry groups, providing one-to-one support from an established attendee, and encouraging early arrival at the programme venue by new participants before their first meeting (Mullender and Burton 2000). In a large-scale, four-year, multi-site evaluation it was found that men who were referred to programmes prior to their trial (within two and a half weeks of arrest) and had to appear in court periodically to confirm their attendance as opposed to those that were sent after the trial (several months after arrest) dramatically reduced no-shows from 30 percent to 5 percent (Gondolf 2004).

Lessons learned regarding increasing compliance 

Criminal justice interventions can dramatically increase compliance with perpetrator programmes. In Pittsburgh (a city in theUnited States ) arrest warrants were issued if perpetrators failed to appear at the programme intake interview or if there was not evidence of compliance at 30 days or at programme completion. The no-show rate dropped from 36 percent to 6 percent between 1994 and 1997 (Mullender and Burton 2000).

Diligent case management of programme participants, systematic victim contact and any necessary recourse should take place as soon as men begin the programme, rather than waiting until the end of the programme to check-in. Experience from a large-scale, four year, multi-site evaluation showed that roughly 75 percent of the reassaults occurred within the first 6 months of men beginning a programme (Gondolf 2004).

Explore various settings to reach out to men who may be at risk of or are engaging in abusive behaviour. (Adapted from the Non-Violence Alliance).

Locations can include:

  • Medical settings
  • Supervised visitation centers
  • Child welfare settings
  • Mental health and family clinics
  • Barber shops, hair salons
  • Workplaces
  • Fatherhood programs
  • Prisons
  • Courts
  • Community centers
  • Educational facilities
  • Union meeting places
  • Frequently visited social spots

Careful consideration should be given to determine suitability for participation in these programmes – Men who do not acknowledge that they have perpetrated inter-personal violence, who have specific psychiatric disorders, who have an active alcohol or drug addiction may not be appropriate candidates for participation in batterer intervention programmes, unless such programmes also address these other conditions within the group or provide access to these complementary interventions. Additionally, other types of abusers who may be screened out include those who become violent with counsellors, sex offenders, those who are suicidal, men who appear to be unafraid of the law and those who are disruptive in group settings or who fail to attend sessions regularly (Rothman et al., 2003).

High-risk men in particular should be identified at the outset of programmes, in order to engage and supervise them appropriately. For an overview and recommended resources on risk assessment, see for example: Inventory of Spousal Violence Risk Assessment Tools Used in Canada (Department of Justice Canada, 2009).

Lesson learned regarding exclusion criteria for men to attend programmes for perpetrators - It is important however, that attention be paid to what happens to men (and their partners) who are excluded from programmes. Data from theUS suggests that men in batterer programmes are more likely to have mental disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse than either men in the general population or batterers who are not referred to such programmes, making it important to consider whether programmes for batterers may have to address these other conditions as well (Bennett and Williams 2001).  Whenever possible, efforts should be made to connect them to specialized services that are equipped to address addictions or psychiatric conditions.

Establish links with those organizations providing services to survivors/ victims of intimate partner violence and with women’s advocates This will increase the amount of information that is available to practitioners about victims’ experiences and may enable staff to receive emotional, political, and even financial support from their partner agencies (Rothman et al., 2003).

Establish clear communication channels between women and perpetrator programme coordinators – Such contact is important in establishing the accuracy of information provided by men regarding their behaviour and in promoting the safety of victims.  Partners should also be consulted about the programme and its effect on the perpetrator.  Such contact should occur directly and in private with the victim and not through the abuser since communicating with the victim through the aggressor may place the victim at increased risk of further violence.

Programme coordinators should:

  • Inform the woman when her partner or ex-partner starts a programme (this may not be feasible or appropriate when partners are no longer together).
  • Keep her informed of his progress of attendance through the group, particularly if he drops out or is asked to leave before completion.
  • Warn her if they believe she is in any danger.
  • Check with her periodically about her safety.
  • Give her information about the perpetrators’ programme and about ways in which the man may use it against her to reinterpret her behaviour.
  • Tell her about other agencies and crisis services open to her.
  • Raise her awareness of realistic levels of change to expect and ensure that she is never given false hope (when partnerships are established between groups working with aggressors and those working with victims, this could be addressed by the latter)
  • Offer her confidential contact at anytime.
  • Take a believing approach toward her.
  • Respect her confidentiality.
  • Do not guarantee complete confidentiality to the perpetrator or to anyone else if this places the woman at risk (Mullender and Burton 2000).

Lesson learned regarding contacting victims 

It is important to note, however, that this may be a challenge since victims may change residence and phone, and their relatives may be justifiably cautious about releasing information to strangers. Victims and aggressors may also be separated, and the aggressor may reside with another partner during and after the batterer programme (Bennett and Williams 2001).

Proper staff training is essential for effective functioning of intervention programmes – Even practitioners who are well-informed about the dynamics of intimate partner violence and their local resources require training on how to conduct group or individual behaviour change intervention with batterers (Rothman et al., 2003).  Basic training programmes should include evidence-based information on:

  • Risk factors associated with intimate partner violence (including those issues related to gender roles and gender equality);
  • Effects of intimate partner violence on children;
  • Local resources (legal advocacy services, shelters, counselling for women and children, medical care);
  • Legal aspects related to intimate partner violence; and
  • Expected police response to intimate partner violence situations.

Facilitating groups with men who commit intimate partner violence requires specific skills – Even practitioners with prior intimate partner violence experience may need to be trained on how to facilitate group or individual sessions with this population.  Among the skills to be mastered are:

  • Techniques for improving participation in group sessions and for holding abusers accountable without alienating or humiliating them.
  • Ability to honour abuser’s own experiences of oppression without colluding with them.
  • Avoiding transferring one’s own emotions on to abusers or victims (Rothman et al., 2003).

Perpetrator programmes need to acknowledge the diversity of men attending groups.

Provision needs to be made for groups that include:

  • Men in isolated rural areas
  • Men screened out of programmes on mental health or substance misuse grounds or because of a learning difficulty
  • Men in prison
  • Men with inadequate language skills for full participation
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Gay men (Mullender and Burton 2000)

Offer emotional support and professional supervision to practitioners working with perpetrators of violence – Training should include information to help counsellors prepare for the explicit and difficult content of their work (Rothman et al., 2003).  Additionally, organizations should make an effort to offer onsite emotional support and appropriate supervision to its staff.

Create opportunities for the exchange of information among those working in this area - A survey with practitioners who work in programmes targeting men who commit intimate partner violence showed that counsellors in this area are experiencing a relative dearth of factual information to use as the basis for their work (Rothman et al., 2003).  Additionally, often programmes in developing countries will import US, Canadian or other models from industrialized countries, which may not be appropriate to their clientele and context.  Therefore, practitioners looking for guidance, advice and materials should turn to those with experience in similar settings where possible or adapt materials to the specific social and cultural context that they are working in.

Programmes working with immigrants, refugees and culturally diverse population groups should obtain practical advice and materials from colleagues who live in their client’s countries of origin. To this end, international information-sharing should be facilitated and made affordable for those in low- and middle-income nations (Rothman et al., 2003).

Culturally-specific counselling, though not evaluated for efficacy, has demonstrated an improvement in completion rates of programmes (Gondolf 2004).

Programmes working with men who have perpetrated violence should provide information on sexual and reproductive health The links between violence against women and sexual and reproductive health outcomes (including restricted contraceptive use, HIV, unsafe abortion, etc.) have been well established.  Programmes working with men who commit intimate partner violence should make use of the opportunity to address these issues with the goal of encouraging their clients to respect their partners’ rights to health-related self-determination (Rothman et al., 2003).

Couples counselling and mediation are controversial practices and may place victims at increased risk of abuse – The fact that many counsellors make no distinction between victim and aggressor in couples counselling, viewing them both with equal responsibility for the violence, is a practice that raises serious concerns (Rothman et al., 2003).  In couples counselling the victim may be unable to express herself for fear of retaliation and may be exposed to further abuse if the aggressor feels that the counsellor has taken the woman’s side.  Therefore, although further evaluation is needed to provide evidence of the dangers or benefits of couples counselling, this is a practice that should be monitored closely.   (For an interesting discussion of this subject, please refer to M Bograd, F Mederos. Battering and couples therapy: universal screening and selection of treatment modality. Journal of Marital Family Therapy. June 1999; 25 (3):291-312) Available in English.

Certain intervention techniques can be inappropriate in addressing perpetrator/batterer behaviour, including those that:

  • Focus exclusively on anger management
  • Use couple and family counseling
  • Use Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Endanger the victim(s) by disclosing confidential information or bringing victim(s) into contact with the batterer
  • Reinforce the batterer’s denial of responsibility for his abusive behaviour
  • Blame the victim for the batterer’s abusive behavior
  • Otherwise support the batterer’s sense of entitlement about abusing or controlling the victim
  • Identify psychopathology, poor impulse control, addiction, childhood experiences or skills deficits as the primary cause of battering

*Michigan Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Board

What are the different types of perpetrator interventions and treatment approaches?

There is a commonly accepted belief that the most appropriate model for working with perpetrators is a broad cognitive-behavioural approach combined with gender analysis (Mullender and Burton 2000). Though this model is widespread in practice, there are other models that are widely implemented.  In practice, however, many programmes combine different approaches, thus the categories below are not necessarily mutually exclusive and can be considered in various combinations.

Cognitive-behavioural intervention - Cognitive-behavioural or psycho-educational approaches are the most prominent.  These view violence as a learned behaviour that can be unlearned (rather than as a consequence of individual pathology, stress, alcohol abuse or a ‘dysfunctional’ relationship). The approach aims to foster mutual respect and requires men to accept responsibility for their past actions and future choices. It requires regular group attendance and needs skilled group facilitators who can challenge denial and minimization, and harness the dynamic of the group to do the same (Mullender and Burton 2000). This intervention has also been found to be the most appropriate for the majority of perpetrators (most perpetrators do not show evidence of psychological or personality disorders) and is less costly than others (Gondolf 2004).

Gender analysis – Gender analysis is thought to be an important element in the work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence.  Gender analysis tackles the belief system that convinces male perpetrators that they have a right to control women in intimate relationships. Failure to address this belief system means that men may simply switch from physical to emotional abuse, and women and children will continue to live in fear (Mullender and Burton 2000).

 

Duluth model - The Duluth model is a widely used approach that includes a component on working with perpetrators of violence.  Though originally developed in Duluth, Minnesota (USA) it has been widely replicated.  The Duluth model's underlying theory is that aggressors want to control their partners and that changing this dynamic is key to changing their behaviour. Its curriculum uses a ‘power and control wheel’ depicting tactics abusers use to control their partners. Themes counteracting these tactics are discussed in classes and group sessions that attempt to induce batterers to confront their attitudes and behaviour (National Institute of Justice 2003).

The Power and Control Wheel is available in English and Spanish.

The Equality Wheel is available in English and Spanish.

 

Group practice - Another model, group practice, works from the premise that battering has multiple causes and is best addressed through a combined approach that includes an individual needs assessment. Proponents of these programmes believe that a more long-term approach than the Duluth model is necessary (National Institute of Justice 2003).

 

Programmes based on aggressors’ typologies - Programmes based on batterer typologies or profiles are gaining popularity. These interventions profile the batterer through a psychological assessment, and then classify him by level of risk, substance abuse, and other factors that may influence which intervention is most likely to work for him. Programmes based on this approach are still relatively new and not fully evaluated (National Institute of Justice 2003).

Couples therapy - A controversial intervention is couples therapy, which views men and women as equally responsible for creating disturbances in the relationship. It is widely criticized for assigning the victim a share of the blame for the continuation of violence (National Institute of Justice 2003).

Identifying promising initiatives:

The lack of sound evaluation of programmes with perpetrators makes it a challenge to identify promising initiatives.  Nonetheless, two reviews of existing programmes may be of use:

1) Intervening with Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence: A Global Perspective by Rothman et al., for WHO (2003). Available in English.

2) Sexual Violence and Mental Health: Analysis of programmes for aggressors of sexual violence by Maria Juracy Filgueiras Toneli (2007). Available in Portuguese.

Among the better known programmes in the US are:

>EMERGE (Boston)

>DULUTH (Domestic Abuse Intervention Project)

>CAMINAR LATINO (Atlanta)

The Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in Europe Programme developed a questionnaire to review perpetrator programmes in Europe, covering: staffing; funding; cooperation/intake/referrals practice; content of work; partner contact/victim support and safety procedures; and the quality assurance/ documentation and evaluation processes.  The findings and questionnaire are available in Bulgarian, Czech, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene and Spanish.

 

Tools that can be used for perpetrator/batterer intervention programmes:

Guidelines to Develop Standards for Programmes Working with Male Perpetrators of Domestic Violence (Dhapne II Project, European Commission). These guidelines were compiled by the consortium of the Daphne II Project Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in Europe - WWP with further elaboration during an international expert workshop in Berlin in 2008. The guidelines address programmes for male perpetrators who use violence against their partners and children living in these relationships. The guidelines are available in Bulgarian, Czech, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene and Spanish. See various state standards from the United States of America.

The Respect Accreitation Standard (Respect/the Home Office and the Lankelly Chase Foundation, UK). The Respect Accreditation Standard was developed to ensure quality services across all organizations providing Domestic Violence Prevention Programmes working with male perpetrators of domestic violence and Integrated Support Services for partners and ex-partners of these perpetrators. The document outlines all requirements for the management and operation of these services and how these requirements can be met. Available in English.

 

AQUILA Working Group (USA). The AQUILA Working Group is dedicated to providing accurate, evidence-based information about batterer intervention programmes and their impact on men who batter.  Various resources and publications are available from: http://www.biscmi.org/aquila/

Breaking the Cycle, Fathering After Violence: Curriculum Guidelines and Tools for Batterer Intervention Programmes (Family Violence Prevention Fund, USA) offers information, exercises and more to help batterer intervention programmes. The Guidelines were tested by the Simmons School of Social Work and includes:

  • A Rationale for Working with Men on Fathering Issues
  • Background on the Cultural and Parenting Issues Affecting this Work
  • Staff Training Activities
  • Evaluation Findings from Pilot Tests
  • Exercises on Empathy, Modeling and the Reparative Process that were tested in three US batterer intervention programmes
  • Materials in both English and Spanish
  • A CD with the Story of a Man who Witnessed and Perpetrated Abuse

Available for download in English.

Fathering After Violence: Working with Abusive Fathers in Supervised Visitation (Family Violence Prevention Fund, USA). This guide is intended to assist the grantees of the Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program (Supervised Visitation Program) in the United States of America that want to enhance the safety and well-being of women and children by working more deliberately with abusive fathers who use the centres to visit their children. This document was designed to target, in particular, visiting fathers who have been violent with their intimate partners.  This guide is grounded on two key premises: men who use violence can be held accountable for their behaviour and simultaneously be encouraged to change it; and women and children can benefit from this approach. The guide is available in English.

Discharge Criteria for Batterer Programmes (Edward W. Gondolf, USA). Clinical judgment typically plays a central role in the discharge of patients from alcohol and mental health treatment. Batterer programmes instead rely almost exclusively on programme attendance to determine discharge. This paper uses a 10-item set of criteria to rate participants in a 13-week court-mandated batterer programme. It concludes with a discussion of methodological limitations, practical issues, and alternative applications of discharge criteria. Available in English.

Domestic Violence and Probation (Fernando Mederos, Denise Gamache, and Ellen Pence – USA). This article offers specialized management techniques that probation officers can use to monitor batterers and intervene in domestic violence cases more effectively. The authors offer suggestions on how to manage offenders on probation, respond to common excuses, and handle those offenders least likely to be held accountable.  Some of the tools available include:

Questionnaire for Victims of Domestic Violence

Dangerousness-Lethality Checklist

Severity of Violence Matrix

The article is available in English.

Guidelines for Men Who Batter Programmes (People Who Work With People Who Batter, USA). It is intended that these guidelines be a guide for new and existing programmes toward the development and delivery of services to men involved in heterosexual relationships who have acted abusively toward a partner or spouse. Available in English.

Man to Man: A Guidebook to Men in Abusive Relationships (Edward W. Gondolf and David Russell - USA). This is a 50-page easy-to-read book with personal accounts and a few basic exercises to get men started working on change and to reinforce domestic violence counselling. The book has five small chapters, including: Facing the Facts; But I'm not Abusive!; It's Not My Fault!; What Can I Do about Abuse?; and How Do I Change?  Resources are available for download in English.

Shedding Abuse (Global).This manual developed by networklearning guides the development of workshops for batterers. It lays out the process for establishing the workshops, selecting facilitators/trainers, organizing the group sessions, in addition to providing tools and exercises to be used in the groups.  Available in English.

Standards For Batterers Intervention Programmes (Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, USA). This site is dedicated to help people seek information, counselling and other resources that aim to intervene in batterers’ lives.  It includes tools such as ethical standards for facilitators of groups for perpetrators, educational and training requirements, service standards and more. Download the standards in English.

Violence Against Women - Synthesis of Research on Offender Interventions (Daniel G. Saunders and Richard M. Hamill, USA). This report provides an overview of the latest research on interventions for men who assault women, such as wives, girlfriends, and acquaintances. The overview begins with a description of the major components of current programmes and then describes what is known about effective assessment and treatment methods. Several topics are covered that are often of interest to practitioners, including methods for enhancing treatment motivation, assessment of dangerousness, and culturally competent practice. The role of research in resolving controversial issues and the characteristics of sound evaluations are also discussed. See the report in for more information.English

Working with Young Children and Their Families: Recommendations for Domestic Violence Agencies and Batterer Intervention Programmes (Abigail Gewirtz and Resma Menakem, USA). This paper is part of series of papers that addresses how to mobilize community and programmatic resources to provide responsive help to children and families affected both by domestic violence and poverty. This particular paper addresses the way to offer support and safety for children while maintaining safety, autonomy and choice for battered women.  See the paper in English for more information.

Working with Young Men Who Batter: Current Strategies and New Directions (Dean Peacock and Emily Rothman). This article offers an overview of juvenile batterer intervention programmes. It identifies risk factors for teen dating violence perpetration as described by the literature and considers the utility of these findings, describes efforts to prevent re-offenses by juvenile perpetrators of domestic violence, discusses several shortcomings inherent in post-crisis intervention, and outlines current challenges within the field.  See the article in English for more information.

Something my Father Would Do (Family Violence Prevention Fund, USA). This 15-minute documentary shows the stories of three men from different cultures who grew up with abusive fathers and had to struggle with their own choices as intimate partners and fathers.  Though originally designed for use in supervised visitation centres, it can be effectively used in batterers’ intervention and fatherhood groups, as well as in workshops and community meetings to discuss issues of family violence and fatherhood. Suggested questions to lead a discussion are included.  There are three companion posters, in Spanish and English, which invite fathers to think about their legacy to their children with engaging multi-cultural images and open-ended questions, such as: “You are a role model to your children. Is there anything you would like to change?”. Free copies of the DVD and posters are available in English

Treatment of Young Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse (Save the Children, Sweden). This report summarizes a conference held in Madrid on 6-8 April 2000 by the International Save the Children Alliance Europe Group. It gives and overview of research and knowledge regarding young perpetrators and sexual abuse, treatment possibilities and challenges. The main focus is on the situation in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Romania, Spain and Sweden. The publication is available for purchase in English and Spanish.

Young Offenders (Anders Nyman Olof Risberg BÃrje Svensson, Sweden). The authors of the book are psychotherapists at the Boy's Clinic at Save the Children Sweden's Centre for Children and Adolescents in Crisis. The book details their experiences of working with boys, initially as victims of sexual abuse to young boys as perpetrators of sexual abuse. The book is available for purchase in English.

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