Perspective of survivors in perpetrator programme outcome evaluation: results from a case example in the Italian context

Authors

  • Berta Vall Faculty of Pyshcology, Education and Sport Sciences, Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain and European Network for the Work with Perpetrators, Berlin, Germany
  • Jaume Grané Faculty of Pyshcology, Education and Sport Sciences, Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain and European Network for the Work with Perpetrators, Berlin, Germany
  • Alessandra Pauncz European Network for the Work with Perpetrators, Berlin, Germany
  • Marianne Hester School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Keywords:

perpetrator programmes, outcome, victim/survivor perspective, safety, impact

Abstract

Perpetrator programmes have been widely developed in recent years. Despite this, their outcomes remain controversial. The main challenge in evaluating perpetrator programmes is the lack of suitable tools. The “Impact Outcome Monitoring Toolkit” was developed to overcome this challenge. This study analyses the outcomes of a perpetrator programme in Italy. Forty-four participants were included; twenty-two were enrolled in a perpetrator programme, while the remaining twenty-two were their (ex-) partners. Results showed that emotional abusive behaviour was more prevalent than physical and sexual abusive behaviour, especially according to (ex-) partners. Consistency in the men’s and (ex-)partners’ reporting of physical violence was demonstrated. Psychological abuse was reduced according to both, albeit in different ways. These results suggest that the men’s views about their physical abusive behaviour are more reliable than expected. The impact of violence on victims decreased by the end of the programme, although some emotional impact remained. Perpetrator programmes need to pay particular attention to psychological violence and coercive control, as they might remain difficult to detect for the men while still having an impact on the victims/survivors. Victims’ safety and well-being increased by the end of the programme. These results are promising in terms of reduction of violent behaviour and suggest further steps for perpetrator programmes to increase victim safety.

References

Akoensi, T.D., Koehler, J.A., Lösel, F., & Humphreys, D.K. (20123). Domestic violence perpetrator programs in Europe, Part II: A systematic review of the state of evidence. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology, 57(10), 1206-1225. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624x12468110

Babcock, J.C., Green, C.E., & Robie, C. (2004). Does batterers’ treatment work? A meta-analytic review of domestic violence treatment. Clinical psychology review, 23(8),1023-1053. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2002.07.001

Cohen, J. (1992). Quantitative methods in psychology: A power primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155-159. Retrieved from: https://web.mit.edu/hackl/www/lab/turkshop/readings/cohen1992.pdf

Feder, L., Wilson, D.B., Austin, S. (2008). Court?mandated interventions for individuals convicted of domestic violence. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 4(1), 1-46. https://doi.org/10.4073/csr.2008.12

Gondolf, E.W., & Beeman, A.K. (2003). Women’s accounts of domestic violence versus tactics-based outcome categories. Violence Against Women, 9(3), 278-301. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801202250072

Haas, E., Hill, R. D., Lambert, M., & Moreell, B. (2002). Do early responders to psychotherapy maintain treatment gains?. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(9), 1157-1172. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.10044

Hamberger, L.K., & Hastings, J.E. (1988). Skills training for treatment of spouse abusers: An outcome study. Journal of Family Violence, 3(2), 121-130. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00994029

Helps, N., Conner, M.D., Montgomery, I., & Petocz, H. (2023). Let’s talk about sex: exploring practitioners’ views on discussing intimate partner sexual violence in domestic and family violence perpetrator intervention programs. Monash Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre, Faculty of Arts, Monash University. https://doi.org/10.26180/21902865

Hester, M., Donovan, C., & Fahmy. E. (2010). Feminist epistemology and the politics of method: surveying same sex domestic violence. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 13: 251–63. https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2010.482260

Hester, M., Walker, S., & Myhill, A. (2023). The Measurement of Domestic Abuse—Redeveloping the Crime Survey for England and Wales. Journal of Family Violence 38: 1079-93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-023-00507-9

Hibberts, M., Burke Johnson, R., & Hudson, K. (2012). Common survey sampling techniques. Handbook of survey methodology for the social sciences, 53-74. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3876-2_5

Kelly, L., & Westmarland, N. (2015). Domestic violence perpetrator programmes: Steps towards change. Project Mirabal final report. http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/1458

Lilley-Walker, S.J., Hester, M., & Turner, W. (2016). Evaluation of European domestic violence perpetrator programmes: Toward a model for designing and reporting evaluations related to perpetrator treatment interventions. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62(4), 868–884. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X16673853

McConnell, N., Barnard, M., & Julie Taylor, J. (2017). Caring Dads Safer Children: Families’ Perspectives on an Intervention for Maltreating Fathers. Psychology of Violence 7, 406-416. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000105

McGinn, T., Taylor, B., & McColgan, M. (2021). A Qualitative Study of the Perspectives of Domestic Violence Survivors on Behavior Change Programs with Perpetrators. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 36, 9364–90. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260519855663

Myhill, A. (2015). Measuring coercive control: What can we learn from national population surveys?. Violence against Women 21, 355-375. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801214568032

Myhill, A. (2017). Measuring domestic violence: context is everything. Journal of Gender-Based Violence 1, 33–44. https://doi.org/10.1332/239868017X14896674831496

Owen, J., Adelson, J., Budge, S., Wampold, B., Kopta, M., Minami, T., & Miller, S. (2015). Trajectories of Change in Psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71(9), 817-827. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22191

Päivinen, H., Vall, B., & Holma, J. (2016). Research on facilitating successful treatment processes in perpetrator programs. In Ortiz, M. (eds). Domestic violence: Prevalence, risk factors and perspectives. Hauppauge (NY): Nova Science Publishers, 163-187.

Prochaska, J.O., & DiClemente, C.C. (1984). The Transtheoretical Approach: Crossing the Traditional Boundaries of Therapy. Homewood: Dow-Jones/Irwin.

Travers, Á., McDonagh, T., Cunningham, T., Armour, C., & Hansen, M. (2021). The effectiveness of interventions to prevent recidivism in perpetrators of intimate partner violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 84, 101974. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2021.101974

Vall, B., Grané, J., Hester, M., & Pauncz, A. (2023a). Measuring the Outcome of Perpetrator Programmes through a Contextualised and Victim-Centred Approach: The Impact Project. Social Sciences, 12(11), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12110613

Vall, B., López-I-Martín, X., Grané, J., & Hester, M. (2023b). A Systematic Review of the Quality of Perpetrator Programs’ Outcome Studies: Toward A New Model of Outcome Measurement. Trauma, Violence and Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248380231203718

Vall, B., Sala-Bubaré, A., Hester, M., & Pauncz, A. (2021). Evaluating the impact of intimate partner violence: a comparison of men in treatment and their (ex-) partners accounts. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(11),5859. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115859

WWP EN [European Network for the Work with Perpetrators of Domestic Violence]. (2023). European Standards for Perpetrator Programmes – Standards for Survivor Safety-Oriented Intimate Partner Violence Perpetrator Programmes. Working document.

Downloads

Published

2023-12-31

Issue

Section

Esperienze e confronti [Experiences and comparisons]