The Evolution of Evidence-Based Treatment for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators

Hamel, John (2017) The Evolution of Evidence-Based Treatment for Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrators. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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This commentary summarises the evolution of evidence-based treatment approaches for intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrators from the point of view of a treatment provider who has sought to expand his knowledge of IPV through undertaking a number of research studies and academics reviews in order to broaden and deepen his clinical skills. Sub-themes include: the limited knowledge base possessed by mental health professionals, victim advocates and others involved in IPV policy and intervention; misunderstandings regarding the nature of what is “battering,” and similarities and differences across gender, including those pertaining to motives for perpetration and rates of emotional abuse and non-physical forms of control; and how a more informed understanding of intimate partner violence characteristics, causes, consequences and current intervention approaches can increase future treatment outcomes. The focus of the thesis is on eight of the author’s published works, beginning with the first edition of Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, published in 2005, and ending with results of a national survey of perpetrator programs. Each is critiqued within the context of the extant IPV literature at the time of its publication, how well the work built upon that literature, and how it advanced evidence-based treatment overall. The commentary provides evidence of a bias among professionals working in the field of IPV to minimize violence by women, which accounts for the perseverance of the dominant “Duluth” treatment model, and proposes a model for evidence-based treatment based on known risk factors and outcome studies.

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