Intervening in intimate partner violence
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Intervening in Intimate partner Violence. Nicola graham- kevan PhD University of central Lancashire, UK Mid Sweden University, Sweden. overview. UK Approach & Duluth based programmes for men Efficacy ‘What works’ literature Risk factors for domestic violence

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Intervening in intimate partner violence

Intervening in Intimate partner Violence

Nicola graham-kevan PhD

University of central Lancashire, UK

Mid Sweden University, Sweden



  • UK Approach & Duluth based programmes for men

  • Efficacy

  • ‘What works’ literature

  • Risk factors for domestic violence

  • Strength based interventions: Inner Strength

  • Women’s violence & Mutual violence

  • Next generation

  • Conclusions

Uk approach treating men

UK Approach treating men

  • Change & LDVPP

  • DAIP


  • IDAP

  • Low quality or no published evaluations

  • Orientation “pro-feminist signifying that they consider violence against women to be an issue of gender power & domination” (Dobash 2000)

  • High attrition

Profeminist duluth approach

Profeminist Duluth Approach

  • Not based on strong empirical evidence

  • Educational not designed to be therapuetic

  • Ineffective: ”there is little support for the Duluth Model regarding the effectiveness of these types of programs in reducing violence … Meta-analytic reviews of outcomes for these approaches have consistently found them to be of limited effectiveness, with effect sizes near zero” (Jewel & Wormith, 2010)



  • Both Duluth and Duluth/CBT hybrids: “Even those who do complete programs do not fair substantially better, on average, than those who drop out or those who do not attend at all” (Babcock, et al., 2004; see also Babcock & La Taillade, 2000; Daly & Pelowski, 2000; Feder & Wilson, 2005) – lack of treatment effect

Attrition the first test of intervention efficacy olver stockdale wormith 2011

Attrition: the first test of intervention efficacyOlver, Stockdale, & Wormith, 2011

MoJ report 35-40% (Weatherstone, 2010)

Meta-analysis of attrition from Offender programmes.

The overall attrition rate was 37.8% from domestic violence programmes

“The clients who stand to benefit the most from treatment (i.e., high-risk, high-needs) are the least likely to complete it. Offender treatment attrition can be managed & clients can be retained through an awareness of, & attention to, key predictors of attrition & adherence to responsivity considerations”

Second test reoffending feder dugan 2002

Second test: reoffending (Feder & Dugan 2002)

  • Broward County, Florida

  • These offenders were randomly assigned either to probation and a 26-week Duluth-model batterer program or to probation only.

  • At one-year follow-up, they found no differences between BIP participants & the control group on measures of attitudes toward women, beliefs about wife-beating, attitudes toward treating domestic violence as a crime, & victim or official reports of recidivism

Brooklyn new york davis et al 2000

Brooklyn, New York (Davis et al., 2000).

  • RCT 376 domestic violence offenders to either a batterer program or 40 hours of community service.

  • No effect of actually attending BIP

  • Among assigned men, those who completed their BIP were no less violent than those who attended only some group sessions or those who never attended a single session.

Reoffending uk

Reoffending UK

  • Bowen et al., (2010)

  • DVPP completers: 21% were alleged to have reoffended within an 11-month post-treatment period.

  • Completing the programme was not significantly associated with either alleged reoffending, or time to first alleged incident.

  • MoJ:

    “overall, approximately one in three cases, regardless of intervention, had a new episode of DV within 6 months, according to victim reports”

Intervening in intimate partner violence


Inner strength medium high risk hmp forest bank

Inner Strength medium/high risk: HMP Forest Bank

Reoffending data

Reoffending Data

  • Psychometric data from a cohort of 31 individuals who completed the Inner Strength.

  • Reoffending data from the 18 (58 %) participants who have been released from custody

  • system checks using Police computers including PNC, OPUS and Icis.

  • additional checks for involvement in Domestic Abuse calls to the police.

  • No evidence could be found to link any of the cohort with Domestic abuse reoffending since release = 0% proven reoffending.

Intervening in intimate partner violence

  • Whatmay be different with this programme?

Intervening in intimate partner violence

“…regardless of whether a short-term suppressive effect of BIPs is found, evidence is mounting that batterer programs based on the Duluth model have no discernible therapeuticbenefits… those offenders who pled guilty to DV & then attend BIPs do not internalize the material taught in the course... consistent with the failure to find a therapeutic effect of BIPs”

Suppression supervision effect

suppression/supervision effect

  • Evidence of suppression effect:suppresses bad behaviour during treatment but does not change the hearts of perpetrators beyond treatment.

  • Lack of evidence for a therapeutic effect: therapeutic means a treatment benefit that lasts longer than the treatment because of some quasi-permanent change in the defendant.

Education v therapy

Education v Therapy



Client-centred approach

Empathetic approach




  • Programme centred approach

  • Challenging approach

  • Confront

  • Ridgid

  • Ineffective

What works

‘What Works’

  • Understand the behaviour who are interested in

  • Identify risk factors likely to be criminogenic

  • Conduct individualised assessment of need

  • Target dynamic need/risk factors

  • Use responsive techniques

  • Target multiple needs

  • Appropriate intensity

  • Behavioural

  • Skillsbased

  • Therapists sensitive & constructive

Slabber 2012

Slabber, 2012

“Perpetrators of domestic violence have complicated psychosocial & psychiatric histories. Many have witnessed or suffered abuse as children & research suggests that these offenders have a range of individual problemssuch as anger, hostility, emotional dysregulation & personality disorder that are amenable to psychological treatment. Despite the frequent co-occurrence of these problems, domestic violence interventions typically do not target the perpetrator’s own trauma history, personality disorders or other individual difficulties”.

Perpetration court mandated men wang et al 2008

Perpetration: Court Mandated Men (Wang et al., 2008)

492 men mandated to BIP in US

BPS November 2011

Intervening in intimate partner violence

  • Women’s & men’s childhood maltreatment is associated with subsequent IPV (e.g., Ehrensaft et al., 2003; Kwong et al., 2003)

BPS November 2011

Neurocognitive model reactive aggression

Neurocognitive model reactive aggression

BPS November 2011



  • “one’s reaction to a traumatic exposure that is coloured, intensified, amplified, or shaped by one’s reactions and adaptational styles to previous traumatic experiences” (Danieli, 2010)

BPS November 2011

Intervening in intimate partner violence

But are we in danger of addressingonlyhalf of the problem?

But hmp forest bank sample

But: HMP Forest Bank sample

  • High levels of bidirectionalphysical aggression, no significantdifference, d = 0.29 (men higher)

  • High levels of bidirectional verbal aggression, significantdifference, d = 0.28 (men higher)

  • High levels of bidirectionalcontrollingbehaviours, no significantdifference, d = -0.21 (womenhigher)

  • High levels of bidirectionalusingchildren to control, significantdifference, d = -0.59 (womenhigher)

Intervening in intimate partner violence

  • Women’s IPV & Mutual/Bidirectional IPV

Straus 2008

Straus (2008)

Intervening in intimate partner violence

But are men morecontrolling, aren’tthey?

Behavioural control cross sectional studies

Behavioural Control: Cross-sectional Studies

  • Lack of sex-differences in controlling behaviour:

  • Graham-Kevan & Archer (2005; 2009)

  • Replicated: Bates & Graham-Kevan (in press) 25,000 men & women;

  • Bates et al (2013).

  • LaRoche (2008) 24,000 men & women

Assortative mating

Assortative Mating

  • The tendency for people to pair up with others who have similar personalities and interpersonal styles to themselves (Brown, 2004; Kim & Capaldi, 2004; Moffitt, Caspi, Rutter & Silva, 2001)

  • This pattern has also recently been found in male help-seeking victims (Hines & Douglas, 2010) and Gay & Lesbian relationships (Frankland & Brown, 2010)

  • In adolescence dating samples, with similar risk factors often found for boys & for girls (Capaldi & Crosby, 1997; Feiring et al., 2001; Gray & Foshee, 1997; Riggs & O’Leary, 1996; Williams et al., 2008).

Mutual ipv why it matters

Mutual IPV: Why it matters

  • Mutuality is a risk factor for more frequent and injurious violence& hence the behaviour of both parties are important to understanding IPV & risk prediction.

  • To intervene in IPV relationships it is necessary to explore both partners’ risk factors & difficulties .

  • Treating one person’s problematic behaviour, but ignoring the others may considerably decrease treatment efficacy (e.g. Mattson, O’Farrell, Monson, Panuzio & Taft, 2010).

Responses to women s ipv

Responses to Women’s IPV

  • Unlikely to get arrested (e.g. no injuries to victim 1% women arrested v 52% men; Minor injuries 23% women v 81% men (Millar & Brown, 2009)

  • Treated like victims

  • Female ‘batterers’ significantly more likely to express beliefs that it is acceptable to hit than male batterers (Simmons & Lehman 2004)

  • Women externalise blame (Holdforth, 2005)

Intervening in intimate partner violence

  • But men are stronger & can just leaveiftheydon’t like it, can’tthey?

Why don t men leave hines douglas 2012

Why don’t men leave? (Hines & Douglas, 2012)

  • Concerned about the children: 89%

  • Marriage for life: 81%

  • Love: 71%

  • Fears may never see kids again: 68%

  • Thinks she’ll change: 56%

  • Not enough money: 53%

  • Nowhere to go: 52%

  • Embarrassed: 52%

  • Doesn’t want to take kids away from her: 46%

  • She threatened to kill herself: 28%

  • Fears she’ll kill him/someone he loves: 24%

Intervening in intimate partner violence

Who are thesewomen?

The oregon youth study capaldi et al 2004

The Oregon Youth Study(Capaldi, et al., 2004)

  • Women’s prior antisocial behaviour & depressive symptoms predicted both their own abusive partner behaviour, as well as their male partners’ abuse.

  • Notably, the women’s characteristics were predictive over & above the contribution of their male partners’ antisocial characteristics.

Conduct disorder moffitt et al 2002

Conduct Disorder (Moffitt et al 2002)

  • Women identified has having conduct disorder 3 years prior to perpetrating partner violence were:

    a) more likely to become involved with violent men

    b) but regardless of whether or not their partner hits them they hit their partners

  • The results for women were the similar for men

Intervening in intimate partner violence

  • “Personality disorder trajectories.”

    - A failure of personality difficulties to diminish from adolescence to adulthood predicted IPV in both sexes.

  • Women with a pattern of distrust, interpersonal avoidance, unusual beliefs, & constricted affect were more likely to assault intimate male partners.

Intervening in intimate partner violence

But it isn’t just IPV…

The new york children in the community study ehrensaft et al 2004

The New York Children in the Community Study (Ehrensaft, et al., 2004)

  • Exploring the effects of :

    -parenting, exposure to domestic violence between parents (ETDV)

    -adolescent disruptive conduct disorders (CD),

    -substance abuse disorders

  • on the risk of violence to & from an adult intimate partner

  • CD & ETDV → IPV

The concordia longitudinal risk project serbin et al 2004

The Concordia Longitudinal Risk Project (Serbin et al., 2004)

  • The Aggressive females had elevated levels of depression and anxiety disorder by late teens.

  • “When they married, their children had higher health risks, & the aggressive girls had become aggressive mothers, exhibiting maternal aggression & having children who had more visits to hospital emergency rooms for treatment of injuries”.

The cycle continues

The Cyclecontinues

Address the causes

Address the causes

  • Moffitt et al put it “ the argument that women’s abuse perpetration in the community is too trivial to research could prove to be tantamount to arguing that smoking in the community is too trivial to research & scientists should focus on cases of lung cancer” (Moffitt et al., 2001, p.69)



  • Feminist informedapproachesineffective

  • Trauma informed approach promising

  • Educationalapproachesineffective

  • Strengthbasedapproaches show promise

  • But the maleperpetartor/femalevictim is simplistic

  • Aggressive girlsbecome aggressive partners & mothers

  • Where IPV in unidirectionaltreatperpetrator

  • Where IPV is mutualtreatboth partners individually and/or in couples

  • Wherethere is IPV, childrenmayneed trauma informed interventions

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