An evaluation of attitude behaviour change programs for male perpetrators of family violence

Criminology Research Council grant ; (19/92)

The study has provided a detailed account of a selection of Victorian programs for male perpetrators of family violence. Unlike many programs in the United States and other countries, these Victorian initiatives tended not to have strong formal links with criminal justice. Almost all men taking part in groups had not been compelled to be there by a court order and were participating on a voluntary basis.

Overall the research suggested that, in Victoria at least, group programs should not be relied on to transform men from violent to non-violent and should not be viewed as an alternative to formal sanctions. Overloading groups with men whose only reason for being there was that they had to attend as part of a court order may well simply have the effect of undermining effectiveness.