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 dometic violence.
We support and promote program practices that:
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.
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
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 whole
chapter devoted to the effectiveness debate and the oversimplifications
and misinterpretations that have come out of it.
Here’s 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,
Angrist, J. (2005). Instrumental variables methods in experimental criminological
research: What, why, and how? Journal of Experimental Criminology, 1, 23-44.
Goldkamp, J. (2008). Missing the target and missing the point: "Successful"
random assignment but misleading results. Journal of Experimental Criminology,
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,
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, 46, 252-271.
Gondolf, E. (2001). Limitation of experimental evaluations of batterer
programs. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 2, 79-88.