• Summary
  • Contents
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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 Diverse Characteristics of Program Participants and Their Partners
The diverse characteristics of program participants and their partners

How might we characterize the batterer program participants and their female partners? The characteristics of men in batterer programs are particularly important to the domestic violence field for three main reasons:

  • One, many of the speculations about appropriate intervention and treatment for batterers rest on assumptions about their characteristics and behavior (Tolman & Bennett, 1990).
  • Two, the characteristics of men in a program contribute to program outcome and therefore need to be considered in evaluating program effectiveness.
  • Three, the characteristics of batterers in a particular program indicate how representative a program may be. One program may appear to be more effective than another simply because it has different “kinds” of men ...
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