Approaches to Perpetrators

hardtofindcurtainUrban and Civil

Nov 16, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Approaches to Perpetrators
of Domestic
Violence:

Dual diagnosis?

Monday
1
0
th

September
2012


Respect


We are the UK membership association for

domestic violence perpetrator programmes

and associated support services.


Our vision is to end violence and abuse in

intimate partner and close family

relationships.

Our key focus is on promoting,

supporting, delivering and developing effective

interventions with perpetrators.


Respect is a UK registered charity, number 1141636.


What we do…

Disseminate best practice and set standards for DV

perpetrator work.

Respect Accreditation Standard launched 2008



Women’s Aid


Refuge


Fatherhood Institute


Ministry of Justice


Association of Directors of Children’s Services


Child & Family Court Advisory Support service
(CAFCASS)


We also…


Run a UK wide helpline for perpetrators and
professionals seeking advice



A men’s advice line for men identifying
themselves as victims



Have commissioned a 3 year independent
research project (the Mirabel Project) to further
enhance what we know about effectiveness of
programmes




Why work with
perpetrators?

Why work with perpetrators…


Majority of perpetrators do not come
into contact with the criminal justice
system



Repeat victimisation is common. 44% of
victims are involved in more than one
incident. No other crime has a repeat
victimisation as high.


(Dodd et al, 2004)



Why do we need to think about
gender?

Men’s violence is a
global problem, manifest
at every level of society
and is society’s most
costly and most urgent
problem



Every year in England & Wales approximately
150 people (120 women


nearly 50% of all
female murder victims & 30 men


nearly 8%
of male murder victims) are killed by a
current or former partner.
(Flood
-
Page, C & Taylor, J. (
eds
)
Crime in England & Wales
2001/2002, London, Home
Office



T
he
evidence from the British Crime Survey
consistently shows that the majority (around
75%) of victims of four or more incidents of
domestic violence are female
.
Debbonaire, T. (2012)


4
0


50
years ago there was no such
thing as “gender studies” courses at
universities


Kimmel (2011) argues that
feminism
and the women’s movement

…made
gender
visible”


Privilege
(patriarchy)
makes gender
invisible: E.G Never planning a night
out on the basis you might be raped

Government,
Judiciary,
Royalty, Military,
Media, Finance

Police, Doctors,
Teachers, Social
workers, Clerks

Part
-
time workers, Service
Industry, Unemployed, Asylum
Seekers, Disabled, Children

White, men in suits

White men in uniform

More mixed
(race, gender)

However, there is often a disconnect…


Kimmel (2011) argues that although the
aggregate
power of men is clearly one that
favours them institutionally


many still
feel
powerless


This seemingly contrary position is also often
expressed by men using IPV when they are on
programmes to help them change


Kimmel further argues that you need to
address this
feeling of powerlessness



Arguably this is what certain father’s rights
groups & politically racist organisations have
been successful in mobilising:

“You feel powerless because of women’s
rights…”

Or

“You feel powerless because of immigration…”


So why promote gender equalities
when addressing men using IPV?

Children do better…


They do better
educationally


Less likely to suffer
mental health
problems


Less likely to take
recreational drugs


Less likely to misuse
alcohol


Less likely to suffer
abuse/be abusive

Their partners are
happier…


Less likely to want to
leave


Less likely to have an
affair


Less likely to seek
psychiatric support


Less likely to misuse
drugs and alcohol

He’s happier…


Less likely to commit
suicide


Has more sex


Less likely to suffer
mental health
problems


Less likely to misuse
alcohol/drugs

(
C
oltrane, Adams,
Gottman
)



What work has been done so far
with men using violence in their
intimate relationships?



Domestic Violence Perpetrator
Programmes (DVPPs)

Common Aspects of Programmes


Most DV seen as a gendered social historical
crime,
not a sickness within perpetrators


Men
-
only
group

programmes preferred


Cognitive behavioural approach


Most programmes
NOT

clinically
-
based


Close relationship with victim advocates, and
offer parallel linked support for partners of men
in programmes


Limited confidentiality

Goals of Intervention


Victim safety and autonomy


Eliminating Perpetrator’s opportunities and
inclination to abuse


System

accountability and responsibility


Changing the climate of tolerance to violence
against Women and Children



A tight coordinated response has an impact on compliance
and recidivism (Gondolf)



4 yr longitudinal follow
-
up evaluation shows a clear de
-
escalation of re
-
assault and other abuse over time, with the
vast majority of men reaching sustained non
-
violence. At 30
months after batterer program intake, 80% of the men had
not been violent to their partners in the previous year, and
at 48 months, 90% had not been violent in the previous year
(Gondolf, 2000; 2002; 2004)



Perpetrator Intervention Programme Effectiveness
(USA)



What about mental
health responses?

Explanations…

“It’s a couples problem”

They need couples counselling

“It’s about intoxication”

You need to stop him drinking &
taking drugs

“It’s a psychopathology”

…he needs therapy/support

“It’s a question of biology”

Men are predisposed to use
violence

“It’s a systems issue (homeostasis)”

They need family therapy…

Then why
do they do it?


Rather than asking for causes (why?) we
propose to look at the
intentions / goals of the
violence (what for?)



Usually, violence is used as an intent to maintain

or re
-
establish the control over the partner, the

relationship or oneself


Colin Fitzgerald, Respect

What might we consider?

Look to develop a clear, shared
understanding of what
domestic violence is and reflect
this in policies.

Key Messages


Violence is unacceptable & the abuser is
100% responsible for his abuse



It is a behaviour with an intent



It is a behaviour that is learned



It is a behaviour that is systematic

Assess Risk


Again have a clear documented
approach to risk in DV cases


If you were asking someone to
conduct a risk assessment on a
man using
D
V


What would you
want to know?



Start thinking of work with
domestic violence perpetrators
as a specialism that requires
further training and the
development of an adequate
skills base.

“Expert” Risk Assessment


Psychiatric report June 2010



History of
severe

and
life
threatening
violence

including use of
knives, threats
to kill
, and violence whilst his partner
was holding their child in her arms


Report content…

1. Assessor
was
a child, adolescent and family
psychiatrist. No
evidence within his qualifications
and experience of experience or expertise within the
field of domestic violence.

2.
But concluded
that although the children
have all
said they do not wish to see their father,
he could
see no reason why they should not be
“helped to
accept”
contact with their father.

3. Report concluded
“I quite confidently say that R A
has been a victim of circumstances and the criminal
allegations on him are unlikely to be true
”.

Other issues to consider:



Mental illness is not the primary cause of most
domestic violence


Research in the UK and USA has shown that the
majority of perpetrators do not have mental health
problems (see Edward
Gondolf
, 2002 &
Home Office
Findings report 217
)


R
esearch reveals that most men can be categorised
as having anti
-
social and narcissistic personalities
showing hostile attitudes towards women and
inflated sense of self rather than low self esteem





Symptoms of mental health problems
can exacerbate domestic violence
behaviours or vice versa


Depression and threats/attempts to
commit suicide or self harm are
established risk factors in lethal domestic
violence including homicide


Issues of dual diagnosis add to the
complexity





Perpetrators’ mental health problems
can play a role in why survivors remain
in abusive relationships


Mental health problems can be used as
an excuse for the use of violence and
abuse and avoid responsibility


Beliefs that treatment will ‘solve’ the
problem of domestic violence can
increase risk





Tailored responses are needed to respond to service
users who are also perpetrating domestic violence


Symptoms associated with some mental health
diagnoses mirror behaviours common to many male
perpetrators; this can make it particular difficult for
practitioners to understand the motivations for
violence and how to respond.


Current psychological interventions alone are
unlikely to address the complex dynamics centred on
power and control issues which underlie domestic
violence committed by the majority of offenders. In
some cases they can reinforce ‘poor me’ symptom
common to most perpetrators



However for some men they may need
specialised help in deal with the emotional
and psychological scars associated with
childhood or other traumatic experiences (e.g.
military) as the psycho
-
dynamic model points
out


Unclear whether adapting treatment to match
different ‘typologies’ of domestic violence
offenders has any effect on treatment
outcomes.

Finally…

See yourself as part of a
community response to DV that
holds perpetrators to account.

I will now attempt to
demonstrate!