Books and Articles
Evaluating the Efficacy of Interventions with Men
by Etiony Aldarondo
With the increased awareness about domestic violence, several prevention
and intervention methods have been developed to stop and decrease violence
in intimate relationships. While some people argue that lives are being
saved through these interventions, others strongly question their effectiveness,
in the face of repeat assaults by batterers. This chapter provides an
overview of what is known about the effectiveness of legal sanctions,
men's programs, and community responses to the issue.
The United States has not adopted a statutory code on domestic violence.
Instead, the most commonly used legal interventions with men who batter
are court order protections and mandated arrest and pro-arrest policies.
According to victims' experiences, protective orders are an effective
form of violence deterrence for many men. A racial/ethnic difference
was found in the effects of protective orders. Black women and those
in lower income brackets reported more re-abuse than white or Latina
women. In addition, women who took out a protective order and were
mothers reported more re-abuse from their partners than women without
Studies regarding the effects of arrest on re-abuse of women by their
partners obtained different and contradicting results. Some studies
found that arrest decreased the likelihood of re-abuse, while other
suggested that arrest increased the risk of re-victimization. When
using women's reports, studies indicated that women whose partners
had been arrested reported lower levels of new instances of physical
abuse than women whose partners were not arrested. Four out of seven
arrest studies concluded that arresting was an effective method of
reducing domestic violence.
According to individual outcome studies, most men stop or interrupt
the use of violence following completion of a batterer intervention
program (BIP). However, one third of program completers go on to re-abuse
their female partners.
In studies with men who completed the BIP, participants reported
abusing their female partners less than men who did not complete the
Studies that compared men assigned to a BIP and men not participating
in any group program found that men in BIPs had lower rates of re-abuse
than men who had not attended any program.
The author concludes by emphasizing that the efficacy of protection
orders, arrest policies, and BIPs are closely tied to the quality
of the community response to domestic violence. He points out that
many of the determining factors for domestic violence are rooted in
society and thus there is a need for a fundamental social transformation
regarding this issue.
Aldarondo, E. (2002). Evaluating the Efficacy of Interventions with
Men Who Batter. In E. Aldarondo and F. Mederos (Eds.) Men Who Batter:
Intervention and Prevention Strategies in a Diverse Society (pp. 3-1
,3-20). New York: Civic Research Institute.
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