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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156606 Find in a Library
Title: Do Batterers' Programs Work?
Author(s): J L Edleson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Domestic Abuse Project
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Sale Source: Domestic Abuse Project
204 West Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This examination of the effectiveness of batterers' treatment programs considers the definition of effectiveness, data on batterers' treatment programs, and their results.
Abstract: The definitions of "success" for batterers' treatment programs range between the extremes of a significant decrease in violent behavior to a cessation of all controlling behaviors, whether violent or nonviolent. The Domestic Abuse Project defines a successful outcome for a man in its program as "the complete cessation of physical violence and threats of violence as reported by his woman partner." More general behavioral and attitudinal changes are viewed by the project as worthy goals, but they are beyond the scope of a time-limited program. A review of the studies of batterers' programs advises that all studies thus far reported must be viewed with caution due to many methodological shortcomings, including the scarcity of experimental studies. Those who have examined evaluation data see many degrees of failure and success in the programs; on one hand, some researchers conclude that approximately two out of three program "completers" are reported by their female partners as not violent for follow-up periods that range up to 18 months. On the other hand, other researchers conclude that only one out of five men successfully completed the program and remained nonviolent over a relatively short period of 18 months. The author of this review concludes that batterers' programs are successful for specific behaviors thus far measured for men who complete them and who are monitored over varying time periods that range up to 18 months. Although this is a worthy achievement, if violence against women is to be effectively addressed, the strategy must include an increase in support for women and children who seek safety, including the application of criminal court sanctions that will keep men in batterers' programs and promote a major change in the definition of acceptable behavior in intimate relationships.
Main Term(s): Victims of violent crime
Index Term(s): Abusing spouses; Corrections effectiveness; Domestic assault prevention; Spouse abuse treatment programs
Note: From Domestic Abuse Project Research Update, Number 7, Summer 1995.
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