Literature Review on Domestic Violence Perpetrators urbis staff responsible for this report were

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4.2Future research opportunities

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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ABS. (2006a). Personal Safety Australia, 2005, Catalogue 4906.0. Canberra: ABS

ABS. (2006b). Recorded Crime–Victims Australia, 2005, Catalogue 4510.0. Canberra: ABS

ABS. (2006c). Criminal Courts Australia, 2004-05, Catalogue 4513.0. Canberra: ABS

ABS. (2006d). Personal Safety Survey, 2006. Canberra: ABS (formerly, Women’s Safety Survey, 1996)

ABS. (2010). Recorded Crime–Victims Australia, 2009, Catalogue 4519.0. Canberra: ABS

ABS. (2011). Recorded Crime – Victims Australia, 2010, Catalogue 4513.0. Canberra: ABS 

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Babcock, J. C., Green, C. E., & Robie, C. (2004). Does batterers’ treatment work?: A metaanalytic reviewof domestic violence treatment. Clinical Psychology Review, 23, 1023-1053.

Beech, A., Bourgon, G., Hanson, R. K., Harris, A. J. R., Langton, C., Marques, J., Miner, M., Murphy, W., Quinsey, V., Seto, M., Thornton, D. & Yates, P. M. (2007). The Collaborative Outcome Data Committee's Guidelines for the Evaluation of Sexual Offender Treatment Outcome Research. Part 2: CODC Guidelines. The Collaborative Outcome Data Committee.

Belcher , L. (2008). A Critical Evaluation of the Sex Offender Treatment Programmes used in Prisons. Internet Journal of Criminology.

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Brewin, C.R., Andrews, B. & Valentine, J.D. (2000). Meta-analysis of risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder in trauma-exposed adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68 (5), 748-766.

Brown, T. & Hampson, R. (2009). An evaluation of interventions with domestic violence perpetrators. Melbourne: Department of Social Work, Monash Unviersity.

Byrne, C.A., Resnick, H.S., Kilpatrick, D.G., Best, C.L. & Saunders, B.E. (1999). The socio-economic impact of interpersonal violence on women. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67 (3). 362-366.

Campbell, M., Neil, J. A., Jaffe, P. G., & Kelly, T. (2010). Engaging abusive men in seeking community intervention: a critical research & practice priority. Journal of Family Violence, 25(4), 413-422.

Carmody, M., Evans, S., Krogh, C., Flood, M., Heenan, M., & Ovenden, G. (2009). Framing best practice: National Standards for the primary prevention of sexual assault through education, National Sexual Assault Prevention Education Project for NASASV. University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Casey, S., Day, A., & Howells, K. (2005). The application of the transtheoretical model to offender populations: Some critical issues. Legal and Ciminological Psychology, 10, 1-15.

Chung, D., O’Leary, P. J., & Hand, T. (2006). Sexual violence offenders: Prevention and intervention approaches. Melbourne: ACSSA Issues no.5, Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, .

Chung, D., O'Leary, P., & Zannettino, L. (2004). Naitonal review of integrated programs for perpetrators of domestic violence. Canberra: Office for Status of Women, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

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Coulter, M., & VandeWeerd, C. (2009). Reducing domestic violence and other criminal recidivism: effectiveness of a multilevel batterers intervention program. Violence and Victims, 24(2), 139-152.

Day A, Chung D, O’Leary P, & Carson E. (2009). Programs for men who perpetrate domestic violence: an examination of the issues underlying the effectiveness of intervention programs. Journal of Family Violence, 24(3), 203-212.

Day, A., Jones, R., Nakata, M., & McDermott. D. (2011). Indigenous family violence: an attempt to understand the problems and inform appropriate and effective responses to criminal justice system intervention. Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law, iFirst article, 1–14.

Eckhardt, C. I., Murphy, C., Black, D., & Suhr, L. (2006). Intervention programs for perpetrators of intimate partner violence: conclusions from a clinical research perspective. Public Health Reports, 121(3), 369-381.

Edleson, J. (2008). Promising practices with men who batter : report to King County Domestic Violence Council.

Feder, L., Wilson, D. B., & Austin, S. (2008). Court-mandated interventions for individuals convicted of domestic violence: Campbell Collaboration Systematic Review, no. 12.

Fileborn, B. (2011). Sexual assault laws in Austraila (Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault Resource Sheet). Canberra: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Gelb, K. (2007). Recidivism of sex offenders : research paper. Melbourne: Sentencing Advisory Council.

Gondolf, E. W. (2004). Evaluating batterer counselling programs: A difficult task showing some effects and implications. Aggression and violent behavior, 9, 605-631.

Gondolf, E. W. (2009). The survival of batterer programs? Responding to evidence-based practice and improving program operation. Retrieved from

Gondolf, E. W. (2010). Lessons from a successful and failed random assignment testing batterer program innovations. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 6(4), 355-376.

Greenfield, D.P. (2006). Organic Approaches to the Treatment of Paraphilics and Sex Offenders, Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 34,437-454.

Hanson, R. K., Bourgon, G., Helmus, L., & Hodgson, S. (2009). The principles of effective correctional treatment also apply to sexual offenders: A Meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 36(9), 865-891.

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Holtzworth-Monroe, A., Meehan, J., Herron, K., Rehman, U., & Stuart, G. (2001). Testing the Holtzworth-Monroe and Stuart (1994) battere typology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 1000-1020.

Howells, K., Heseltine, K., Sarre, R., Davey, L. & Day, A. (2004). Correctional Offender Rehabilitation Programs: The National Picture in Australia. Forensic Psychology Research Group, Centre for Applied Psychological Research, University of South Australia.

Humphreys, C., Ross, S. & Diemer, K. (2010). Evaluation issues for Men's Behaviour Change Program. Departments fo Social Work and Criminology, University of Melbourne.

Jamieson, S. & Wendt, S. (2008). Exploring men's perpetrator programs in small rural communities, Rural Scoeity, 18 (1), 39-50.

Jewell, L.M., & Wormith, J. S. (2010). Variables associated with attrition from domestic violence treatment programs targeting male batterers: a meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(10), 1086-1113.

Johnson, H. (2005). Crime Victimisation in Australia: Key results of the 2004 International Crime Victimisation Survey. Australian Institute of Criminology.

Kingsnorth, R. (2006). Intimate partner violence: Predictors of recidivism in a sample of arrestees. Violence Against Women, 12(10), 917-935.

Labriola M, Rempel M, & Davis R. (2008). Do batterer programs reduce recidivism? Results from a randomized trial in the Bronx. Justice Quarterly, 25(2), 268-282.

Laing, L. (2000). Progress, trends and challenges in Australian responses to domestic violence. Sydney: Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse.

Lievore, D. (2004). Recidivism of sexual assault offenders: rates, risk factors and treatment efficacy. Canberra: Office of the Status of Women by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Loxton, D., Hosking, S., Stewartwilliams, J., Brookes, J. & Byles, J. (2008). A review of selected domestic and family violence prevention programs. The Sax Institute, Univerity of Newcastle (for the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet).

Macgregor, S. (2008). Sex offender treatment programs: effectiveness of prison and community based programs in Australia and New Zealand. Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse Research Brief, 3.

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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).

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