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One Size Does Not Fit All in Treatment of Intimate Partner Violence

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A critical examination is needed of the often mandated one-size-fits-all Duluth intervention for male perpetrators of intimate partner violence (IPV). The underlying philosophy of Duluth-based interventions is evaluated as well as the treatment outcome literature for this intervention. There is very little evidence to justify the current legal system practice of mandating all perpetrators to psychological interventions addressing power and control issues. A literature review of scientific findings with IPV perpetrators and the issues that need to be taken into consideration in developing alternative evidence-based interventions are presented. The evidence seems to favor heterogeneity and not homogeneity with respect to both type of perpetrator and type of violence. Assessment and treatment suggestions are made to address this evidence-based heterogeneity and a call is made to those responsible to stop perpetuating the practice of mandating all perpetrators to attend a single intervention for which there is very limited evidence of effectiveness. About two-thirds of male perpetrators of IPV cease being physically aggressive against their partners if they are assigned to a probation officer, but there is minimal evidence that the addition of a Duluth-based intervention makes perpetration less likely.
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Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: April 1, 2014

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