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Batterer Intervention Programs Have Mixed Results

Date Published
October 9, 2019

Courts often mandate that convicted abusive partners attend batterer intervention programs in addition to serving a probation term. NIJ-funded researchers have evaluated the most common batterer intervention programs.

A number of batterer program evaluations have been conducted, but with inconsistent results. One approach that researchers have used is to integrate the results from various evaluations is known as meta-analysis.

There are a number of interventions that are common in the treatment of domestic violence offenders. Meta-analyses of two prominent approaches — the Duluth model and cognitive behavioral therapy — have been reviewed and rated under NIJ’s CrimeSolutions.gov process.

The Duluth Model of interventions for domestic violence offenders employs a feminist psychoeducational approach with group-facilitated exercises to change abusive and threatening behavior in males who engage in domestic violence. The practice is rated Effective for reducing recidivism with respect to violent offenses and Promising in reducing victimization. The results found fewer partner reports of violence in the intervention group relative to the comparison groups.

Read the full practice profile “Interventions for Domestic Violence Offenders: Duluth Model” on CrimeSolutions.gov.

The second meta-analysis looked at interventions for domestic violence offenders based on cognitive behavioral therapy. Such programs are designed to reduce partner violence by identifying and changing the thought processes leading to violent acts and teaching offenders new skills to control and change their behavior. These interventions use cognitive behavioral therapy as applied in a domestic violence setting. The practice is rated No Effects in recidivism outcomes for violent offenses and No Effects in reducing victimization.

Read the full practice profile “Interventions for Domestic Violence Offenders: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” on CrimeSolutions.gov.


National Institute of Justice, "Batterer Intervention Programs Have Mixed Results," October 9, 2019, nij.ojp.gov:
Date Created: July 5, 2011