Specific areas for future research identified in the literature include:
Strategies to recruit or engage domestic violence perpetrators who do not seek help or come into contact with the criminal justice system in intervention programs (e.g., Campbell, Neil, Jaffe & Kelly, 2010; Edleson, 2008) – given that previous convictions or criminal history is one of the strongest predictors of recidivism, it is critical for intervention programs to reach men early in the development of domestic and sexual violence. This finding suggest that there is a need to develop specific strategies to prevent reoffending among first-time offenders as well as strategies to better identify high risk offenders and increase their capacity to complete programs.
Strategies to minimise program attrition – research indicates that program attrition rates are high for both domestic and sexual violence offender intervention programs, program completers have better outcomes than non-completers (dropouts), and that those who drop out of programs can reoffend at a higher rate compared to those who did not participate in a program (e.g., Sartin et al., 2006).
Strategies to improve the capacity of intervention programs to cater for perpetrators of different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and geographic locations.
The development of reliable and valid screening and assessment tools to facilitate the matched intervention approach.
Cultural competence of intervention programs – new methodologies are needed to determine the cultural competence of programs.
The National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (NCRVWC, 2009) proposed the following areas for future research:
Effectiveness of incarceration, deterrence and community restraint in reducing recidivism.
Program characteristics that are effective in changing men’s behaviour.
Developing and evaluating best practice prison-based intervention programs – examining the principles and theory underpinning the program content, the approach used to work with female partners and managing safety issues, the capacity of the program to respond appropriately to perpetrators from a range of backgrounds and different geographical locations, and the impact of the program in reducing violence against women and their children
This paper reflects the conclusions drawn from the Australian and international literature. The final paper will include the findings from the survey of Australian intervention programs being undertaken as part of the overall project.
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1 These instruments collect data on violence in relation to the following discipline areas: crime and safety surveys (CSS), health and lifestyle surveys (HLS), and Indigenous specific surveys (ISS). More specifically, CSS include the ABS National Crime and Safety Survey, ABS Personal Safety Survey, International Violence Against Women Survey and the ABS Women’s Safety Survey. Health and lifestyle surveys include the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, and the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, and ISS are canvassed by ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)
2 For example, the ABS’s Recorded Crime Statistics (4509.0), the National Crime and Safety Survey, and the Women’s Safety Survey (1995), now the Personal Safety Survey (2005).
3 The more recent, Personal Safety Survey (2005) (ABS, 2006), did not report help seeking behaviours of victims/survivors. In this regard, the earlier Women’s Safety Survey (1995) (ABS, 1996) report is referenced to provide an indication of reporting tendencies of female victims/survivors.
4 With the exception of Western Australia for 2009.
5 There is evidence that previous victimisation is one of the strongest predictors of subsequent victimisation (e.g., Brewin, Andrews & Valentine, 2000; Byrne, Resnick, Kilpatrick, Best & Saunders, 1999). Findings of the 2004 International Crime Victimisation Survey indicate that 45% of all those victimised over a five-year period experienced more than one different types of crime. Within different crime categories, many victims also reported multiple victimisations, with 68% of all victims reporting one incident of crime, 19% reporting two incidences, and 13% reporting three or more separate incidents during the one-year period (Johnson, 2005).