Batterer Intervention Systems

Issues, Outcomes, and Recommendations

About the Course:

One of the most burning debates in the domestic violence field is over the effectiveness of batterer programs and how to improve them. Batterer Intervention Systems responds to this debate with research from a multi-site evaluation of batterer programs—the most comprehensive and extensive evaluation to date. It critiques current experimental evaluations, exposes the complex issues of evaluation, and presents alternatives to assessing effectiveness. A four-year follow-up of program participants reveals a surprising de-escalation of abuse, a subgroup of unresponsive repeat reassaulters, and the difficulty in identifying the most dangerous men. Conventional batterer counseling appears to be appropriate for the vast majority of men. Most of all, the book shows that the “system” matters and can be improved through some straightforward adjustments.

Batterer Intervention Systems is a very important book—probably the most important one on batterer interventions and evaluations to date…. The writing style is very strong, conversational, and kept my interest. It presents complex information in a non-technical way. The book should be very accessible to a wide audience.”

JEFFREY L. EDLESON, Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota, and Director, Minnesota Center Against Violence & Abuse (MINCAVA)


Sage Publications

Publication Date:

© 2002


Edward W. Gondolf, Ed.D., MPH

About the Author:

Edward W. Gondolf, Ed.D., MPH, is Associate Director of Research for the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Training Institute (MAATI), where he conducts externally funded research on the response of the courts, mental health practitioners, alcohol treatment clinicians, and batterer treatment programs to domestic violence. He is also Professor of Sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has authored several other books, including Men Who Batter, Battered Women as Survivors, Psychiatric Response to Family Violence, and Assessing Women Battering in Mental Health Services.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially victims advocates, psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about batterer intervention programs. It is appropriate for an intermediate to advanced level of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the historical and social context in which batterer treatment programs developed.

  2. Compare and contrast the various approaches to batterer treatment, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, consciousness-raising, anger management training, couples counseling, and conventional batterer treatment (i.e., the Duluth model).

  3. Explain the difficulties inherent in evaluating batterer treatment programs.

  4. Describe the strengths and weaknesses of experimental and naturalistic evaluation methods.

  5. Describe the characteristics of men court ordered into batterer treatment in the US, and their partners.

  6. List and discuss the relative significance of the risk markers distinguishing the most dangerous men from other batterers.

Exam Questions

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