In December 2009, national experts in batterer intervention and domestic violence met in Washington, DC, to discuss how to improve intervention systems and design research that better informs practice. This report describes the experts roundtable, summarizes the key themes that emerged from the discussions, and recommends next steps for the field of batterer intervention.
Roundtable participants agreed that batterer intervention programs (BIPs) are effective with some batterers, but there was no consensus on the percentage of men who stop their violence as a result of program participation. Participants identified key elements of a model BIP as follows: partnering with other individuals and organizations in order to improve accountability and offer a range of services; working closely with court and probation to monitor court-ordered referrals; creating a solid program infrastructure that includes ongoing training and supervision of staff, as well as implementing policies that are consistent with best practices; moving beyond legal sanctions in coordinated community responses; shaping interventions and programs based on input from adult survivors and children; using risk assessment and risk management; and engaging men early in their roles as parents and partners. The roundtable also highlighted the ongoing gap between what researchers emphasize when they evaluate BIPs and what BIP practitioners consider reflective of their program goals and achievements. Participants suggested that research must address not just what fails, but what works to stop men’s violence. Most participants concluded that despite negative findings from some of the research, BIPs continue to have a significant role in ending violence against women. With additional opportunities for sharing and testing new research and practice ideas, BIPs and partner organizations can turn the current challenges in the field into opportunities for improving responses to domestic violence. Appended listing of roundtable participants and observers, abstracts and links to papers, research recommendations, elements of model programs and evaluation approaches, and policy and practice recommendations
Date Published: January 1, 2010