• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

One of the most burning debates in the domestic violence field is over the effectiveness of batterer programs and how to improve them. Batterer Intervention Systems responds to this debate with research from a multi-site evaluation of batterer programs—the most comprehensive and extensive evaluation to date. It critiques current experimental evaluations, exposes the complex issues of evaluation, and presents alternatives to assessing effectiveness. A four-year follow-up of program participants reveals a surprising de-escalation of abuse, a subgroup of unresponsive repeat reassaulters, and the difficulty in identifying the most dangerous men. Conventional batterer counseling appears to be appropriate for the vast majority of men. Most of all, the book shows that the "system" matters and can be improved through some straightforward adjustments. 

The Limitations of Previous Evaluations
The limitations of previous evaluations

Numerous evaluations have attempted to answer the question, “Do batterer programs work?” Nearly 40 have been published, along with several review articles and meta-analyses (a systematic means of combining the outcomes of several evaluations). A few major and costly program evaluations have recently been completed and appear to offer the best answer. The research design and methods of these evaluations appear to move toward a conclusive response. At the least, three major experimental evaluations suggest little or no effect from batterer programs. However, these evaluations, like those that preceded them, need to be weighed with some caution. In this chapter, we critique the experimental program evaluations to illustrate the issues to consider in interpreting and applying ...

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