STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The AQUILA Working Group is dedicated to providing accurate, evidence-based
information about batterer intervention programs and their impact on men
who batter. We are committed to enhancing dialogue and public awareness
about these programs and about the potential for change for many men who
have a history of domestic violence.
We support and promote program practices that:
Acknowledge that many men who attend batterer intervention programs face
multiple obstacles to long-term change (such as poverty, exposure to trauma,
racism, addiction and disproportional impact of our systems), and promote
holistic services to help men deal with issues that destabilize the change
Center on the safety and well-being of adult victims/survivors of intimate
partner violence and children.
Promote responsibility and safe, nurturing relationships for men who have
a history of domestic violence.
Encourage multi-institutional, community and family capacity to hold men
who batter accountable for their conduct and encourage them to change.
The Full Picture of Research on Batterer
Evidence of a Postive Effect of batterer programs:
Articles on Research issues:
Articles on "Gender-neutral" research:
Articles on the limitations of Experimental Program Evaluations:
chapter in the book on “The future of batterer programs” has a chapter
devoted to the effectiveness debate and the oversimplifications and misinterpretations
that have come out of it.
A paragraph that offers directly the counter point:
A 2007 meta-analysis from the Cochrane Collaboration11
questions any “doesn’t work” interpretation of the previous meta-analyses
more explicitly (Smedslund, Dalsbø, Steiro, Winsvold, & Clench-Aas,
2007): “The methodological quality of the included (experimental) studies
was generally low . . . The research evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions
about the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral interventions for spouse
abusers . . . We simply do not know whether the interventions help, whether
they have no effect, or whether they are harmful” (p. 18). An earlier analysis
funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used a broader
inclusion criteria of fifty intervention and prevention programs and reached
a conclusion similar to the more selective Cochrane Collaboration: “The
diversity of data, coupled with the relatively small number of (experimental)
studies that met the inclusion criteria for the evidence-based review,
precluded a rigorous, quantitative synthesis of the findings” (Morrison,
Lindquist, Hawkins, O’Neil, Nesius, & Mathew, 2003, p. 4).12 Berk,
R. (2005). Randomized experiments as the "bronze standard.' Journal
of Experimental Criminology, 1, 416-433.
Angrist, J. (2005). Instrumental variables methods in experimental
criminological research: What, why, and how? Journal of Experimental Criminology,
Goldkamp, J. (2008). Missing the target and missing the point:
"Successful" random assignment but misleading results. Journal of Experimental
Criminology, 4, 83-115.
Durlak, J., & DuPre, E. (2008). Implementation matters:
A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes
and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community
Psychology, 41, 327-350.
Matt, G., & Navarro, A., (1997). What meta-analysis have
and have not taught us about psychotherapy effects: A review and future
directions. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 1-32.
Dobash, R. E., & Dobash, R. P. (2000). Evaluating
criminal justice interventions for domestic violence. Crime and Delinquency,
Gondolf, E. (2001). Limitation of experimental evaluations
of batterer programs. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 2, 79-88.