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CounselingNH E-Zine, Issue #009 Domestic Violence Interventions
August 26, 2008

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September 26, 2008 Volume 1, Issue #009-Domestic Violence Interventions

A Note From Jim

Feature Article: Domestic Violence Interventions

A Note From Jim: Hi Jim here, This is the last in a series of articles on domestic violence. We have offered a definition and discussed dynamics of domestic violence. In this article we are going to explore interventions for offenders.


Domestic Violence Interventions

Domestic violence is not a sickness or a disorder, rather it is behavior in men that stems from a belief and attitudinal system. In women it may be the result of the use of power and control, an angry ‘push back’ or a function of trauma. Interventions for men and women may differ from one another.

Men are generally recommended to attend batterers intervention classes. These are educational classes designed to educate members about domestic violence, gender inequalities and the misuse of power and control. Accepting responsibility for ones own behavior is highly stressed.

Women are generally also recommended to a group class. They are taught to identify what they can ‘carve out’ of an abusive intervention as their own responsibility. They are also taught to think independently about themselves.

Generally a group class is the recommended format for both men and women. There are usually at least two leaders in every class and the duration of the class is about ten months. Group settings enhance learning or the members. It is easier for them to identify abusive behaviors in others than themselves. Their seeing themselves as abusive becomes less abhorent. At times people are recommended to be seen on an individual basis. This is a modification provided as the result of the individual’s special condition or circumstance. The person for example may not speak English and needs to work with an interpreter. Or the person may be mentally ill and be overwhelmed in a group setting. Or the person’s violence may be only directed towards a child. This person may have little in common with the other class members.

Domestic violence offenders are never seen in couple or family “treatment” until they have become fully responsible and fully accountable for their abuse. In most cases, this means they should finish their domestic violence group classes before beginning couple or family treatments. Domestic violence offenders, especially males, seek and use power and control in order to manage their relationships. Until they can thoroughly give up this position to enter and meaningfully participate in a relationship, a couple or family therapy format is simply a captive arena that can easily be used by them to further misuse power and control.

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All the Best,

Jim Foster

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