Domestic violence perpetrator programmes: A national scandal


Do domestic violence perpetrator programmes work in reducing violence and abuse?

No, says Julie Bindel.

Yes, says the University of Durham

Rehabilitation programmes for domestic violence perpetrators can work (12 January 2015)
The vast majority of men who abuse their partners stop their physical and sexual violence if they attend a domestic violence perpetrator programme, according to new research.

The research, led by Durham and London Metropolitan universities, suggests domestic violence perpetrator programmes (DVPPs) could play an important role in the quest to end domestic violence.

Steel yourself or take a seat – Julie Bindel is absolutely right. I agree with her. Cherish the moment, even if we have come to the same conclusion from very different directions.

A lot of us have been sceptical of the effectiveness of Duluth model interventions for a long time. Whether or not one questions the theory underpinning the model, it remains the case that the published evidence for the effectiveness of such courses is sparse almost to the point of non-existence.

Yes, there are evaluations which show improvements in men’s (only ever men’s) abusive and violent behaviour, (see here ) but the big question was always: compared to what? Abusive behaviour is not constant. In most abusive people it diminishes with age, and many abusive people will reach a point in their lives when they will become less violent, less controlling, less abusive. Serious abusers tend to be referred for help (or self-refer) at a time when their offending behaviour is close to its peak. So if you have 1000 abusers and monitor their behaviour over a year or two, a small number might get worse but a much larger number will improve a bit while some will stop the behaviour altogether. That happens even if you don’t intervene at all.

This is really basic social science. We should not ask if a group of men on a perpetrators’ course become less violent.

We should ask if a group of men on a course become less violent than they would have done if they had not done the course.

Even better, we should ask if men on this course become less violent than they would have done if they had done that course instead, or served a different judicial sentence or whatever.

Now, go searching in the archives for that research and you’ll find the cupboard is pretty much bare.

To be fair, there are some very good reasons for that gap in the literature. It is an exceptionally difficult question to answer for reasons of safety, practicalities and above all, ethics. Evaluating the various court-mandated perpetrator programmes around the world is hard enough. Evaluating community-based treatment programmes, where most of the participants are there voluntarily and so might be presumed to be more motivated to succeed – or can simply drop out if they are failing to improve – well, such research is almost drowned in methodological issues.

So when the University of Durham announced they had demonstrated that such courses “can work”, (and annoyed Julie along the way), I eagerly asked the University for a copy of the paper and they kindly obliged.

It is the final report of a three year initiative called Project Mirabal, authored by Professors Liz Kelly and Nicole Westmarland. It does not appear in a journal but is listed as being published by and copyrighted to the University of Durham. There is no mention of peer review.

The introduction includes an exciting surprise. I will now quote from the paper with only a few minor edits for brevity and a few words of commentary.

**
In order to demonstrate that change was due to the DVPP intervention with men, the research design involved creating a matched comparison group of women receiving support about domestic violence but in an area where there was no community based DVPP.

Excellent!

Freedom Programmes were chosen for this, since they are widely available and work only with victims. The quantitative data collection followed the current orthodoxy of taking women’s accounts as the most reliable in terms of men’s use of violence and abuse: women whose partners were on a DVPP were designated the intervention group, and those on Freedom Programmes the comparison group. Data analysis revealed the two groups were comparable across basic demographics, length of relationship and baseline levels of violence and abuse.

Where they did not match was that comparison group women were more likely to have children who had no contact at all with their father (40% in comparison versus 16% in intervention group). Where there was no contact, this was primarily because either the child or the perpetrator did not want it in the comparison group, whereas in the intervention group where contact was limited this was more likely to be the result of decisions by the family court or Children’s Services.

Well that’s not too serious -the groups are slightly different but that was inevitable…

Most crucially, we found that women in the intervention group were far more likely to still be with the man who had abused them: nearly half were together before the man started on a programme and over a third were still together 15 months on.

This was the case for hardly any of the women in the comparison group – just 13 per cent at first interview and 9 per cent at 15 months.

OK this is more worrying, but they must have known this was going to happen from first interview and decided to proceed?

This finding suggests that women are in contact with Freedom Programmes and DVPPs at different points in the process of dealing with domestic violence. Thus whilst we do have comparison group data (which largely found there to be no significant differences in reductions in violence and abuse), the fact that they are not an equivalent comparison group rendered the comparative data difficult to interpret in a way where we could be sure of our explanations. For this reason we do not report this data here.

WHOAH. Stop right there…. the study found no significant differences in reductions in violence and abuse between the comparison group and the intervention group?

Let that sink in for a moment. The study found no significant differences in reductions in violence and abuse between the comparison group and the intervention group!

Let us be charitable and go along with the authors’ interpretation. It was simply not possible to compare the intervention group with any kind of control group. (The more cynical interpretation would be that they did do exactly such a comparison and found that the intervention did not work, whereupon they changed the whole nature of their study.) Where does this leave us? It leaves us exactly where we were last week – there is still no credible evidence that Duluth-inspired domestic violence perpetrator programmes actually work any better than doing nothing at all.

Yes, the paper goes on at some length (52 pages, to be exact) with qualitative evidence of effectiveness, quotes from women who felt it was effective on their partners, evidence from staff involved in delivering the programme, etc etc etc. Some of which is quite compelling. But that does not alter the bottom line – there remains no evidence that the courses work any better than doing nothing at all.

Does this matter? Yes, a lot. Firstly, quite obviously, because it may be that financial resources which are being spent on perpetrator programmes might be used more effectively on victim support, shelters or whatever else.

Even more troubling, however, is that when it comes to interventions with perpetrators, Duluth model programmes are pretty much the only game in town. A charity called Respect has been tasked by the government with accrediting (effectively licensing) all perpetrator programmes in the UK and they will only accredit courses based on the Duluth model. There is (limited but growing) evidence from around the world that other approaches (eg cognitive behavioural therapies, or the types of restorative justice and healing programmes detailed in the wonderful work of Linda G. Mills) might be effective, at least with some offenders. These are, to all intents and purposes, forbidden in the UK, to protect a patriarchal model for which there is no evidence of effectiveness at all. As a consequence, efforts to research and develop perpetrator programmes which might actually work are being stifled and stymied in favour of unevidenced woo.

That is not just a disgrace. It should be a national scandal.

Comments

  1. Archy says

    Do they do wife as perpetrator programs too? There are cases where both the man and woman both have reciprocal arguments, but if only one is being treated then that person may still be being hit and provoked potentially into reciprocal fights. Not all are like this before anyone wants to try accuse me of blaming the victim….and in these cases the man and woman are also both victims + both perps.

  2. Marduk says

    Regression to the mean, its basic to the nature of measuring anything, never mind social science.

    Duluth is of course worthless, based on nothing but political theories and infamously “data impervious”. Although trusting to this snakeoil obviously leads to ongoing suffering, the point of it is that its a sibboleth and really to do with power and institutional capture.

    PASK has good stuff on relative efficacy, you’re hedging more than you need to here, its less nuanced and fine lined than you are making out. Duluth doesn’t work af all and nobody really ever thought it did either. Other things that work exist if anybody cares to read about them but lets face it, they don’t want to, efficacy isn’t even remotely cared about, much less sought out.

  3. Carnation says

    Slightly off-topic, but here’s my tuppence worth. In my opinion, possessing and acting on a controlling and abusive personality is akin to addiction – a compulsion that will manifest, usually where opportunity will allow. Like addiction, such a personality won’t wholly be defined entirely by control and abuse but it will feature heavily. And like addicts, abusers will know that something is very wrong. And like addicts, a significant minority will seek help and some will allow it ruin their lives and the lives of others.

    Like most criminals, domestic abusers are frequently more sad and mad than inherently bad.

    A programme for abusive personalities is desperately needed.

    @ Ally Can you think of any with credible stats on positive outcomes? This is simplistic, but wouldn’t monitoring the number of statutory interventions before and after the course (a very large sample would be needed) give a basic idea of effectiveness, if only from a financial cost to the state perspective?

    As unfashionable as it might be to say, helping abusers is the humane and sensible thing to do.

  4. says

    Ally:

    A charity called Respect has been tasked by the government with accrediting (effectively licensing) all perpetrator programmes in the UK and they will only accredit courses based on the Duluth model.

    That is horrible and I wanted to look a bit closer at it (also because I wanted to look into Archy’s question whether there are/would be any programs for fenale perpetrators.

    According to this page on the Respect website they prescribe a model. The accreditation standard document does not contain the word Duluth nor does it contain any word starting with “patriarch”,

    Could you, Ally, point me to where it’s stated that Respect will only accredit DVPs based on the Duluth model?

  5. says

    Archy:

    The Respect website has sections on male victims and claim that their helplines is also open for male victims, female perpetrators as well as female victims and male perpetrators. However, if one digs deeper the male victim/female perpetrator perspective very often disappears. The cynically inclined may suspect that this is because the inclusion of male victims and female perpetrators is a thin veneer to ensure that they still are eligible for public funding wich as I understand it in the UK is only given to organizations which does not exclude victims based on gender. I could not find any mention of programs for working with female perpetrators. In fact the accrediation standard document I linked to earlier in this comment is pretty specifically talking about female victims and male perpetrators throughout the text:

    From the definition of DVPP:

    Domestic Violence Prevention Programme. In this Standard, this is taken to
    mean all the work with men who use violence against their partner, in order to
    help to hold them to account and to prevent them from continuing to abuse.

    From the definition of “Perpetrator”:

    As this Standard is applicable to organisations working only with male perpetrators
    of domestic violence the term ‘man’ may sometimes also be used

    From the definition of “Victim”:

    As this
    Standard currently applies only to organisations working with male perpetrators
    (see above for a definition of this term) of female partners or ex-partners, the
    term ‘woman’ may also be used

    Although they do say this:

    When services are developed with client groups such
    as gay or lesbian survivors and perpetrators, or female perpetrators, this is likely
    to mean further specialist provision. This will be the subject of additional
    Standard requirements when these services become more established.

    That is the only time “female perpetrator” is mentioned in the document,

    Which leaves me to wonder how these programs can be expected to be more established if they cannot be accredited under the current standard (as the current standard doesn’t include them):

  6. says

    “Most crucially, we found that women in the intervention group were far more likely to still be with the man who had abused them: nearly half were together before the man started on a programme and over a third were still together 15 months on.

    This was the case for hardly any of the women in the comparison group – just 13 per cent at first interview and 9 per cent at 15 months.”

    Presumably, women in the intervention group felt that something was being done, and even if violence didn’t reduce; the fact their partners were going through some kind of program gave them some false sense of security that it was going to improve soon. Taking part in such a course would also give an abusive partner language to describe all the ways he was getting better even if he wasn’t.

    I’m not suggesting no abuser can be treated, but ineffective treatment of *any* behaviourial problem inevitable gives a person more tools to justify and mitigate and make promises that won’t be kept. It’s very much worse than useless.

  7. Ally says

    Morning all. I’m working away from home today so doing this on my phone. Will reply to points this evening but for now, Tamen, you might like to Google the exchanges in the journals between Respect and John Archer & Nicola. Graham-Kevan

  8. JT says

    Does anyone point out the reality that as men age their testosterone lowers and this could potentially be the main reason their abusive episodes may be diminishing?

  9. says

    Are you thinking of this: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044-8333.2012.02061.x/full ?

    Unfortunately that is behind a paywall for me, but as a I can gather it seems like Respect at least in 2009 (in the Respoect Position Statement) held the “position that intimate partner violence (IPV) can only be addressed as a gendered issue,that is as a consequence of patriarchal values enacted at the individual level.” Graham-Kevan, John Archer and Louise Dixon argues for a more gender inclusive view. The dialogue takes part in 2012. Also in 2012 the 2nd edition of the accredditation standard.

    The 2009 document titled “Position statement: Gender and domestic violence” is no longer available on the Respect site and a newer version/edition of it couldn’t be located by me.

    So it seems like there is no mention of Duluth and “patriarchal” values in their accreddation process and on their site since 2012.

    However, this document from 2013 talking about research on the effectiveness of DVPP seem to come down on the side of US researcher Gondolf who is ” recommending rather that the cognitive behavioural methods with underlying emphasis on gender relations are sufficiently effective to be worth continuing and improving.”. They spend 2-3 paragraphs on his argument.

    UK researcher Erica Bowen’s conclusion in her “The Rehabilitation of Partner-Violent Men” (Bowen, 2011) which rejects a “one size fits all” approach is barely mentioned in one line and is given far less consideration than Gondolf’s argument that the patriarhal model works best since there is no proof that it doesn’t (nor is there much proof that it does).

    So. My suspicion that Respect’s mentioning of male victims and female perpetrators is more of a veneer remains. If I were to be optimistic I’d hope that it’s a matter of a cultural change within Respect that is taking some time to complete.

  10. Marduk says

    Tamen:

    Here you go.

    https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://respect.uk.net/data/files/respect_gender__dv_position_satatement.doc

    Click on the 25th of december, 2011.

    Apparently they don’t know how to delete things from the web properly.

    Summary statement
    Respect believes that practice experience and analysis of rigorous research demonstrates that a thorough understanding of the complex dynamics of gender is vital to responding effectively to domestic violence. Without this understanding, the nature, incidence, demographics and other factors of domestic violence cannot be explained and responses to victims, perpetrators and children will usually be inadequate and often unsafe. Effective work with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence therefore has to include an integrated understanding of the influence of gender.

    Section headings are:
    The majority of violence in general is committed by men
    Gender is the most significant factor for being a perpetrator or victim of domestic violence in particular
    Women’s violence is frequently defensive, retaliatory or self defence or resistance
    Gender is a risk factor for domestic homicide
    There are some female primary aggressors and male primary victims
    Men and women have different environmental and social limits and opportunities
    Assumptions about roles and expectations in intimate relationships are gendered and related to justifications for domestic violence

    “This document was agreed by the Respect Executive Committee on 4th September 2008 as Respect policy”

  11. Marduk says

    I’ll stop spamming now, but I think you can gauge Respect’s now masked position from the “toolkit for male victims” which is not a toolkit for male victims at all. It is a guide to all the ways in which a male victim is probably really an abuser or else (and can you imagine a toolkit on female victims having this as a major theme?) “just unhappy”. I’m not kidding, they give case studies so you can identity when a man imagines he is being abused but is really just a big whiner (apparently this is because of “entitlement”, a big problem with men).

    http://respect.uk.net/wp-content/themes/respect/assets/files/respect-toolkit-for-work-with-male-victims-of-dv-2nd-edition-2013.pdf

    A real toolkit for dealing with male victims is available here:

    http://www.mensadviceline.org.uk/data/files/Men's%20Advice%20Line%20booklet%20for%20male%20victims.pdf

  12. Ally Fogg says

    Hi again everyone

    Marduk,
    thanks for the Google skills!

    Tamen – yes, I think you’ve just about got the measure of Respect. They pay lip service to LGBT and male victims, have talked about looking into perpetrator programmes for cases like those, but have never actually developed anything. Meanwhile they don’t really advertise that they are strictly Duluth, but if you read any of their materials it quickly comes through. Meanwhile people like John Archer and Nikki Graham-Kevan have been trying to pin them down on outcome evaluations for about a decade and getting nowhere.

    TheGoldfish

    Presumably, women in the intervention group felt that something was being done, and even if violence didn’t reduce; the fact their partners were going through some kind of program gave them some false sense of security that it was going to improve soon. Taking part in such a course would also give an abusive partner language to describe all the ways he was getting better even if he wasn’t.

    It could be that, but bear in mind that these are community treatment programmes, not court-mandated, so we can assume that the men involved are motivated to change their behaviour. Around a third were self-referrals, the rest came via social services or health services or other routes. So it might be that the women are not leaving because the men are on the course, but it could equally be that the men are on the course because the women haven’t left them. (This could also go a long way to explain the apparent success of the courses when you look at the raw data in isolation) .

    I do agree with you that there is a danger in abusers using these courses as a cover story, but have no evidence as to the extent of this happening. My guess is it is a much bigger risk with mandatory schemes than voluntary ones.

  13. Archy says

    ” Women’s violence is frequently defensive, retaliatory or self defence or resistance”

    Does this include times when a woman punchs you for laughing at a joke? That is the most common form of inter-gender violence I see in PUBLIC*, probably 95% of the time I’ve witnessed one gender hit another it has been a woman hitting a man via slap, punch, or backhand slap to arm or leg.

    *Not saying 95% of dv is female on male though, as much of it goes on behind closed doors but here in Australia there is a hell of a lot of women openly hitting men, especially in high-school. Many couples after high-school do it too, I’ve had it from female friends and a past lover too. I wouldn’t call it defensive, retaliatory, resistant or self-defense.

    Personally I think relationships with both being the victim and perp each won’t get better if only one goes to the perpetrator therapy. It would be quite hard I would think for an abuser to resist fighting back after having the other abuser initiate physical attacks on them.

    Eg, man does the course but may not be taught how to stop her attacking him. Wife hits him once, twice, three times, I’d say quite a few would probably hit back and a reciprocally violent scuffle breaks out. He may resist fighting back a few times but I think there could be a time for many that the willpower fails or they feel threatened enough to fight back. Part of the issue would be rage, and part of it would be not knowing better ways to stop someone attacking you, eg grapples or self-defense techniques to reduce the harmful attacks to you and allow you to escape. I think it is probably hard for non-violent people to never hit back, let alone those with a history of violence if you cannot get away from the attacks.

    I also think tackling one genders perpetrator and one genders victimization doesn’t help, it needs to be both genders and all combinations covered. That means non-reciprocal + reciprocally violent relationships need to be covered, male on female, female on male, female on female, male on male, Male versus Female (reciprocal), M vs M, F vs F. I am only seeing male on female (male perp, female victim) being catered for so there is a lot of violence in relationships that aren’t dealt with.

  14. mildlymagnificent says

    My guess is it is a much bigger risk with mandatory schemes than voluntary ones.

    Certainly Lundy Bancroft reports that from his work. The one thing that I find encouraging from what I read of the conduct of the programs is that there is strong contact between the people running the program and the wives/ partners of the men involved. It’s a good policy in and of itself, but doing this ensures that the people in the therapy groups can’t get away with claiming improvements in their behaviour because they know that the moderator/coordinator has direct information about the reality of their behaviour at home.

    As for the problem with most of the abusive partners failing to recognise that their earlier behaviour was unequivocally wrong and they’re still coming up with excuses and justifications once it’s all over. It is a problem, but the community and government’s prime interest is in reducing criminal, overt, violent behaviour. The fact that these men still have unpleasant attitudes and some undesirable behaviour – like still controlling a partner’s access to money – can be left to couples and/or individual counselling. Or to the wife/partner deciding that he’s too nasty to live with even when he’s no longer beating her up, and leaving anyway.

    Though I have one reservation. Most research that focuses on male offenders (no idea whether there’s anything the same about same sex or female-on-male abusers) points out that men who are known to be physically or sexually violent to their women partners are also much more likely to abuse children, both physically and/or sexually. That would also be a high priority for communities and governments when considering the success or otherwise of such programs. Maybe there was some self-selection in that “control” group in the research – perhaps those women were more inclined to leave because of the effects on the children. The women who stuck with their violent partners may feel able to do so because they’re more confident about their children’s safety. Couldn’t find anything either way about this (might be because I couldn’t get to the paper itself).

  15. mildlymagnificent says

    I also think tackling one genders perpetrator and one genders victimization doesn’t help, it needs to be both genders and all combinations covered. That means non-reciprocal + reciprocally violent relationships need to be covered, male on female, female on male, female on female, male on male, Male versus Female (reciprocal), M vs M, F vs F. I am only seeing male on female (male perp, female victim) being catered for so there is a lot of violence in relationships that aren’t dealt with.

    That means a lot more research, both on abusers and their relationships as well as on the success/failure of various intervention strategies for each kind of abusive relationship identified. There are all sorts of arguments about how to identify coercive/controlling abusers and mutual conflict violence and to distinguish which interventions are and aren’t suitable for those. The one thing I know of is that it’s fairly clear that couples counselling is actually counter-productive when the relationship consists of one controlling, coercive abuser with a perpetually available victim. The counselling becomes yet another opportunity for abuse and for the abuser to manipulate an outsider into becoming their ally.

    Apart from that, there seems to be very little conclusive evidence in favour of any given approach, let alone how authorities should distinguish between different circumstances and direct different people to different resources.

    The other issue is that most of this sort of thing is done in either groups or in couples. I can’t imagine how a usually all-men group would work when you add in non-heterosexual people and/or a woman or two. No problem if the abusive relationship fits into the suitable-for-couples-counselling category, though the availability of suitable counsellors might be an issue in some places.

  16. says

    Marduk @13:

    …the “toolkit for male victims” which is not a toolkit for male victims at all. It is a guide to all the ways in which a male victim is probably really an abuser or else (and can you imagine a toolkit on female victims having this as a major theme?) “just unhappy”. I’m not kidding, they give case studies so you can identity when a man imagines he is being abused but is really just a big whiner (apparently this is because of “entitlement”, a big problem with men).

    Oh, I remember that toolkit well. I read through it back when Ally made a post about this screening and I made this comment.

  17. 123454321 says

    “Women’s violence is frequently defensive, retaliatory or self defence or resistance”

    More like:

    ” Women’s violence is frequently defended by claiming that it is frequently defensive, retaliatory or self defence or resistance”

  18. Lucy says

    “Yes, the paper goes on at some length (52 pages, to be exact) with qualitative evidence of effectiveness, quotes from women who felt it was effective on their partners, evidence from staff involved in delivering the programme, etc etc etc. ”

    Etc.

    “But that does not alter the bottom line – there remains no evidence that the courses work any better than doing nothing at all.”

    “Yes, the paper goes on at some length (52 pages, to be exact) with qualitative evidence of effectiveness, quotes from women who felt it was effective on their partners, evidence from staff involved in delivering the programme, etc etc etc. ”

    Because afterall, women don’t know anything, either in general, or about when and why their intimate lovers are over many years of domestic terrorism slowly inching them towards anhiliation. So let’s pop that in the no evidence tray.

    Men prefer quantitive evidence over qualitative evidence, it’s those lovely shiny simple numbers again over all that dirty complex humanity where there is no such thing as a control group you see. And if men prefer quantitive and men control the money, then quantitive is what decides where the money goes. Must have the number before we can do anything. Get me the number!

  19. Lucy says

    Goldfish

    “Presumably, women in the intervention group felt that something was being done, and even if violence didn’t reduce; the fact their partners were going through some kind of program gave them some false sense of security that it was going to improve soon. Taking part in such a course would also give an abusive partner language to describe all the ways he was getting better even if he wasn’t.”

    Because presumably women are thick.

  20. Lucy says

    JT

    “Does anyone point out the reality that as men age their testosterone lowers and this could potentially be the main reason their abusive episodes may be diminishing?”

    I think that might be heresy round these parts. That observation is another one of those strange coincidences, like ultra violence following males through time and space and the trail of carnage and smoking rubble in their wake, for which there is no (persuasive) evidence.

  21. Lucy says

    1233003

    “Women’s violence is frequently defensive, retaliatory or self defence or resistance”
    More like:
    ” Women’s violence is frequently defended by claiming that it is frequently defensive, retaliatory or self defence or resistance”’

    Because it is.

  22. Lucy says

    Archy

    “Does this include times when a woman punchs you for laughing at a joke? That is the most common form of inter-gender violence I see in PUBLIC*, probably 95% of the time I’ve witnessed one gender hit another it has been a woman hitting a man via slap, punch, or backhand slap to arm or leg.”

    You’re not a reliable witness though are you. There is no evidence.

    If this happens, and it probably doesn’t, then this is passive aggression. Those hits are never really a joke. There’s a lot of suppressed rage against the man machine out there. Just be greatful they aren’t armed to the max like other aggrieved groups and the worst you have to deal with is a backhand slap and muttered curses through gritted teeth as she goes to sleep.

    YouTube men punching and kicking women for an entertaining afternoon of joke violence. The comments are the best part.

  23. Marduk says

    @Lucy.

    I assume you are in fact an MRA. Can’t agree with your politics, but the parody of a confused yet obsessed ideologue is hilarious. You wrote five posts, not one of which doesn’t contradict the other four, I refuse to believe you managed to do that without getting the graph paper out and doing some really intricate planning. You demand evidence, but evidence is something men demand etc etc.

    And the ‘punchline’:

    So merely being a victim of domestic violence is something men should be grateful for, because hey, they are lucky they aren’t being murdered by their spouses.

    Brilliant! You should get a grant from the Arts Council for this. Anyone who says it isn’t art needs to wake up.

  24. Archy says

    Just like clockwork, women are shown to sometimes be perpetrators and out comes Lucy to tell us of the bad bad men. Lucky, you’re blaming the victim. No, I won’t be glad women punch and slap me instead of shoot me, I shouldn’t have any of that violence against me. I didn’t hurt them so they have no right to hurt me. They too tell offensive jokes but I don’t go around hitting them for it.

  25. mildlymagnificent says

    This Royal Commission might come up with some interesting stuff in Victoria – but we haven’t seen the terms of reference yet. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-01-19/holding-family-violence-offenders-to-account-focus-of-inquiry/6025442?section=vic

    I expect it will reflect the views of the police fairly strongly, in particular the views of the former Police Commissioner. (He’s resigned because his wife is sick and he reckons it’s his turn to support her.) I also suspect the police will point fingers at the courts for letting people out on bail too readily, and victims will point fingers at the police for not responding appropriately or promptly (or at all) to offenders who breach their AVOs (Apprehended Violence Orders) as well as getting stuck into the Family Court over their failure to adequately protect children and ex-partners at risk from violence. Luke and Rosie Batty are the classic case here, at least as far as police and local courts are concerned. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-28/luke-batty-mother-rosie-batty-critical-of-child-commission/5703054

  26. Archy says

    “We know that Family Violence is the leading cause of death and disability of Australian women under the age of 45.”

    I wish this statistic would die already. The leading cause of death is cancer.

  27. Anton Mates says

    Lucy,

    Because afterall, women don’t know anything, either in general, or about when and why their intimate lovers are over many years of domestic terrorism slowly inching them towards anhiliation. So let’s pop that in the no evidence tray.

    Didn’t you read Ally saying that some of that evidence is quite compelling? This is perfectly good evidence that the program can be very helpful for some women. But it isn’t evidence for the program working better than doing nothing at all for a typical battered woman, because we don’t have comparable evidence from a control group. Some women in the control group might offer equally compelling evidence that their partners improved without state intervention, and would not have improved if they’d gone through the program. We simply don’t know.
    In other words, the testimony of the very, very large population of women in a violent relationship who don’t go through a Duluth-style program is being ignored. I’m surprised you don’t see a problem with that.

    Men prefer quantitive evidence over qualitative evidence, it’s those lovely shiny simple numbers again over all that dirty complex humanity where there is no such thing as a control group you see.

    This is not a quantitative versus qualitative issue. It’s possible to do a qualitative analysis on a control group–though when it comes time to compare two groups, you usually end up doing a quantitative analysis of your qualitatively coded data–but they didn’t do that either.

    And as an aside, women make up 27% of computer professionals, 41% of life and physical scientists, 47% of mathematical workers, and 61% of social scientists. They can do numbers just fine, and men can do words just fine.

    Qualitative research is certainly valuable, but not because it somehow resonates better with people who have ovaries or a high estrogen content or something.

    Because presumably women are thick.

    Women are humans. Humans are prone to wishful thinking, self-delusion, and excessive trust in authority. They also try to reconcile themselves to situations they think they can’t get out of anyway (because, for instance, they can’t support their children alone or they fear retaliation from their ex.) Manipulative abusers have a knack for exploiting these aspects of our psychology, whether their targets are female or male.

  28. joe says

    There are several aspects of domestic violence I would love for you to go through the research and try to figure out how works Ally.

    How does domestic violence look globally? How does it look when one includes third world countries?

    How much does dominance by the male or female partner contribute, if at all, to domestic violence?

    How much of domestic violence, if any, can be explained by gender inequality?

    There is a lot of good stuff to look at at this webpage:

    http://www.domesticviolenceresearch.org/pages/inter_domestic_violence_res.htm

  29. floyd07 says

    As a small business whose owner has worked in the field of DV/DA and been trained to deliver courses such as PACT and Freedom for men (perpetrators) for 5 years now, i would like to give a sightly cynical viewpoint on RESPECT. Accreditation is important if its the content and delivery that is being accredited. The Respect accreditation is QMS system that costs £7k to obtain and a lot of hard work. While i understand there is a need to give consistency of delivery it seems to me that financially its ‘lining the pockets’ of those who are looking after their own interests- almost unethical standards here.

  30. floyd07 says

    oh forgot to add………There’s a real shortage of deliverers of da/dv perpertrator work in our area of the UK……Well it’s no wonder if risk averse councils will only want Accredited companies delivering a QMS showing you deliver c**p under a license!!

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