, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 167-184

Collateral Damage: An Analysis of the Achievements and Unintended Consequences of Batterer Intervention Programs and Discourse

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Abstract

This paper reviews and critiques two prevailing program models for batterer intervention in order to highlight both their valuable achievements and attendant costs and consequences. We analyze these batterer intervention program models at 3 levels. First, we describe the historical development and basic program components of the intervention models. Second, we trace differences in the models to their grounding in different psychological assumptions and theories about behavior change, masculinity, and violence. Third, differences between the models are mapped onto contrasting approaches to the regulation of human deviance in the criminal justice and mental health systems. Based on this analysis, we conclude that further attention to structural and contextual factors, such as class, race, economic stress, and substance abuse in explanations of domestic violence is needed, together with alternative approaches to collaboration between victim advocates and batterer intervention providers.