• 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 De-Escalation of Reassault and Other Abuse
The de-escalation of reassault and other abuse

How effective are batterer intervention systems and their accompanying batterer programs in reducing or stopping violence ? This is, of course, the key question as to whether the programs “work.” The question, however, has several dimensions:

  • What portion of the program participants stop their violence for a certain time period—6 months, a year, or several years?
  • What portion of men achieve some level of nonviolence by a certain point in time—by a year after the program or by several years after the program?
  • What is the pattern or trend of reassault after the program; does it escalate or de-escalate?

In this chapter, we attempt to answer these questions primarily through the women's reports of abuse across ...

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