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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”

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

BPS November 2011

Neurocognitive model reactive aggression
Neurocognitive with subsequent IPV model reactive aggression

BPS November 2011

Retraumatisation with subsequent IPV

  • “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 with subsequent IPV are we in danger of addressingonlyhalf of the problem?

But hmp forest bank sample
But with subsequent IPV : 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 with subsequent IPV IPV & Mutual/Bidirectional IPV

Straus 2008
Straus (2008) with subsequent IPV

Intervening in intimate partner violence

But with subsequent IPV are men morecontrolling, aren’tthey?

Behavioural control cross sectional studies
Behavioural Control: Cross-sectional Studies with subsequent IPV

  • 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 with subsequent IPV 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 with subsequent IPV

  • 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 with subsequent 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 with subsequent IPV men are stronger & can just leaveiftheydon’t like it, can’tthey?

Why don t men leave hines douglas 2012
Why don’t men leave? with subsequent IPV (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 with subsequent IPV thesewomen?

The oregon youth study capaldi et al 2004
The Oregon Youth Study with subsequent IPV (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) with subsequent IPV

  • 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.” with subsequent IPV

    - 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 with subsequent IPV 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 with subsequent IPV (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 with subsequent IPV (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 with subsequent IPV Cyclecontinues

Address the causes
Address the causes with subsequent IPV

  • 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)

Conclusions with subsequent IPV

  • 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

Contact me at
Contact with subsequent IPV me at: