What do Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes add to a Coordinated Community Response?
A common response to domestic violence perpetrators is to refer to a domestic violence perpetrator programme. Such programmes usually consist of weekly group-work sessions, which aim to educate men about gender equal relationships and how to eliminate their use of violent, abusive and controlling behaviour. There is, however, a shortage of programmes, which is linked to a lack of evidence about whether they are actually successful. Success, however, is difficult to measure, for a number of reasons - for example the relationship may end and the perpetrator might move on to another woman.
This project will investigate the extent to which the perpetrator programmes reduce violence and increase safety for women and children within the framework of their contribution to coordinated community responses to domestic violence. A multi-site design is to be used, in which 600 partners of men on programmes will be tracked over a 12 month period and compared with 200 women who have received support but whose partners have not attended a programme. Men on programmes will also be interviewed, at the beginning and end of their participation in the programme.
The pilot phase of the research identified what people mean by the programme being successful. Results so far suggest that men and women often talk not only of a decrease in physical violence but about having a better relationship or their children having a better father (see link below).
The study is longitudinal and involves the use of an epidemiological technique called survival analysis and a health sciences technique called critical incident analysis. These have not previously been used in the UK with relation to domestic violence. The results should provide a wealth of evidence to show the impact of domestic violence perpetrator programmes.
Wolfson fellows: Dr Nicole Westmarland
Other Durham University researchers: Professor Simon Hackett, Sue Alderson, Richard Wistow
Other organizations: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, London Metropolitan University, Respect
Funder: ESRC, Northern Rock Foundation, Lankelly Chase
Dates: 2009 - 2013
Keywords: domestic violence perpetrator, survival analysis, critical incident analysis, longitudinal study.
Links: http://www.respect.uk.net/pages/respect-multi-site-research-into-perpetrator-programme-outcomes.html, http://www.dur.ac.uk/sass/research/researchgroups/?mode=centre&id=499