A clinical psychologist's referral report.
Notice how the client's history is personalised and how a detailed and precise description of what needs to be undertaken with him to enable him to gain some insight into and mastery of his situation.
What the psychologists reported about one client -linked here
What another client said about us and about DVIP, a London based RESPECT accredited programme, the RESPECT flagship
A child protection social worker who had sent us several clients
eventually sent us her father. Two years later her comments were: "Thank
you very much, you gave me back the father I never had."
A client's thanks following what was for him a very constructive first meeting
Writing to you to thank you with hand on heart.
Yesterday I met my children after nearly 2 weeks and I thanked you in my heart. Let me explain why-
The nursery is the only place of contact for me to see my children.
In our last meeting I had explained you how I am struggling to see my children and how much they miss me. I explained to you that I feel very uncomfortable and uneasy in that small closed room of nursery where I see my children; they see me, get very excited and then seeing new items in that room they get busy playing with them. I was only happy seeing them playing. You then gave me some tips how to cope, how to use that time best so that we three can enjoy fullest possible.
Yesterday before driving in to the nursery or after coming out, first time I didn't cry. Before going in I remembered you and your words. I bought gifts for them. Didn't drive hastily. When I went in I just became a small boy to play with them as I used to be before. I gave them gifts (swimming goggles, pool back float for example), tried them on kids, this helped me interacting with them for 1o min at least. After that I did some fun game to feed them snacks. After that we played tickling, inc-winci spider and my other forgotten games and gestures. We laughed and laughed and laughed a lot, I was on the floor, all over the place etc.
This might not mean to you anything. But yesterday I laughed naturally after so many months. I converted that time in that small room from a phase of self low (because I miss my family) to an energetic and positive full of life moment. This all happened because of you. You told me, so what you have small time or less opportunity, you should use it to max benefit. So I did.
Hence I thank you.
Birmingham Domestic Violence Forum quickly associated itself with RESPECT accredited courses: it is possible that this influences social services approach to our work. The details of that policy are outlined below and our criticisms of it are added in the next paragraphs.
Below that are a couple of paragraphs we have taken from the 2015 update!
"Domestic violence is
an abuse of power and control and is characterised by a pattern of
abusive controlling behaviour rather than by a one off incident. The
definition includes so called 'honour-based violence', female genital
mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. Understanding domestic violence &
Ellen Pence, the originator of the power and control mindset recognised that as wrong in her book in 1999! Johnson scores it 7 per 1,000 men and 5 per 1,000 women are "intimate terrorists!!
Does not male genital
mutilation, also called circumcision, not constitute an assault on the male
child, too? Why would this be treated
any less seriously than FGM? What would be the reasons for not addressing this
is a pattern of abusive behaviour over time, where men tend to be the
Comment:No. Women tend to be
the primary i.e. first aggressor - Graham-Kevan and Archer.
"and where women may be using violence in order to
protect and defend themselves and their children,"
Comment:an attempt at minimisation
and or denial?
"Agencies need to screen effectively to identify the primary
aggressor in situations where both women and men are using violence in the
relationship or where there are counter allegations."
Comment: They certainly do need to screen effectively!
And statistically these
relationships, involving so-called "situational couple violence", range from between
75% and 80% of domestic violence cases. Johnson and Graham-Kevan and Archer.
is most more commonly gendered, and is caused by the misuse of power
and control, is central to effective intervention and prevention. Domestic
violence and abuse consists mainly of violence by men and against women, and
the gender of both victim and offender influences behaviour and the severity of
risk and harm caused."
"Although the vast majority of domestic abuse is
perpetrated by men on women, men can be victims of domestic violence and
abuse. Domestic violence and abuse occurs within lesbian, bisexual, gay and
transgender (LGBT) communities. "
Comment: The vast majority, more commonly, tend to - a wide range of "vast majority" there!
Does DV occur in the communities or does it occur in the relationships?
is a pattern of abusive behaviour over time, where men tend to be the
primary aggressor women tend to be
the primary i.e. first and where women may be using violence in order to
protect and defend themselves and their children, (an attempt at minimisation
and or denial of female violeence?
Agencies need to screen effectively to identify the primary
aggressor in situations where both women and men are using violence in the
relationship or where there are counter allegations.
And statistically these
relationships, involving so-called "situational couple violence", range between
75% and 80% of domestic violence cases.
Birmingham Interagency Domestic Violence Forum 2004
confidential, open, safe.")
Service Standards 17
(Pages 14 and 15)
apply specific standards when engaging in perpetrator programmes for violent
(Numbering added by
Temper Domestic Violence)
Where perpetrator programmes are provided, service providers will ensure
1 Programmes operate
within RESPECT the National Association for Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes and Associated Support, 'Principles
and Minimum Standards of Practice'
2 Programmes focus upon the social and gendered context of
violence against women.
provide parallel support for associated women (whether current or ex-partners)
and children, with clear protocols determining how information is made
available to women where their, or their children's safety, may be compromised.
4 Parallel support would form part of any funding
bids for a programme.
Programmes require that participation is
mandated through the criminal justice system.
Programmes would work closely with the criminal justice system to
ensure that any breaches are dealt with swiftly and robustly.
Programmes ensure that participants would not
be enabled to use their participation in the group as a means to avoid the
legal consequences of criminal behaviour.
would not engage with, or link to, couples work, anger management or mediation
Facilitators would be skilled and experienced
in providing programmes operating within the power and control model.
Programmes would forge strong links with
Birmingham Inter-Agency Domestic Violence Forum.
Programmes would commit to thorough monitoring
and evaluation, including the women's report as an integral element of this
Without these minimum standards being place,
then perpetrator programmes will not only be dangerous to women and children,
they will also significantly fail to change the behaviour of domestically
programmes operate within a wider state and community context which abhors and
condemns domestic violence and affords greater opportunity for perpetrators to
challenge their violent behaviour and attitudes.
Notes to the above
1) Respect's notions are based on the Duluth
Model. According to Gondolf's research 2003, 40 studies had found no
substantial affect. "Best practice" as considered by RESPECT was based very
largely on DVIP's (The Domestic Violence Intervention Project, London)
practice, which up until 1998 involved mainly court mandated clients. Joseph
Rowntree Trust established in 1998 that 57% of clients dropped out. DVIP's
figures in 2008, with a much bigger percentage of non-court mandated clients,
was that "33 men of 230" completed a programme. DVIP's other claim, based on
research outcomes by Dobash and Dobash, in turn based on CHANGE which completed work with 46 men between 1990 and
1996 was that 70% 0f men "improved".
This would mean that 23 men of 230 made significant progress, all
documented by Government papers.
According to Gondolf, men that drop out of
projects pose a more significant threat to their partner or former partner!
2) The above means that
women that are violent to women in lesbian relationships, and men that are
violent to men in gay relationships and women that are violent to men in
heterosexual relationships have no programmes to attend. As such it represents
an unjustified sexual discrimination against all of those groups because
violence exists in significant percentages in each of those relationship variations.
It further implies that only men are capable of violence and that only women
may only be victims.
3) By attempting to
compel an agency into working with both abuser and victim they create a
triangular relationship. Essentially this is potentially a very dangerous
situation because a couple will attempt to "speak to one another through the
agency", and one result is so-called "splitting". It is much safer for both
parties to be supported by different agencies.
It is also much safer for the agency, too. Funding to support female
victims is now very plentiful. It is plainly unwise to move women who are
victims away from well-funded sources of support into the impoverished sources
of support, which are barely available for abusers (men!) to use!
4) If you believe that
all abusers are a) the same sex, b) have the same problems and c) need the same
solutions then you might make the Birmingham Domestic Violence Forum
Statements. In the real world abusers, like everybody else, come with a
vast array of problems, a large number of different needs, and produce a wide
variety of outcomes. Patriarchy being
seen as essentially the sole cause of domestic abuse is simply unrealistic, and
represents dogmatic, outdated feminism in the vast majority of cases. More
recent recognitions split the feminist stereotype into " Intimate terrorists"
and "situational couple violence" as main categories.
5) POWER AND CONTROL:
the initiator of this notion, Ellen Pence, recognised in the book she wrote in
1999 that power and control was not an issue with the vast
majority of male abusers that she worked with. P 29. "Co-ordinating
Community Responses to Domestic Violence - Lessons from Duluth and Beyond"
Melanie Shepherd and Ellen Pence
Duluth makes use of
its "famous" TWO WHEELS. Power and control was one of them, EQUALITY was the other. Her statement effectively
made the "vehicle" for addressing men's abuse a monocycle, which nearly
everybody falls off! Riding a monocycle is usually regarded as a circus act!
Trick cycling! For circus entertainment
purposes only. I would suggest that is very close to the mark!
The missing wheel is EMOTIONS.
TEMPER attempted in 1998 to forge links with the membership of Birmingham
Domestic Violence forum we were not permitted access to an 800 strong
membership readership. The young woman who agreed to our placing an advert for
an "information day" in her membership paper kindly wrote back and explained
that "editorial control" had been removed from her control. In other words,
BDVF wanted nothing to do with "abuser" organisations.
12 With the above
elements in place, with our experience of abusers we would say that Duluth
programmes are dangerous to families. A coruscating description of the
short-comings of a DULUTH abuser programme has been written by no less than the
Vice Chair of RESPECT. To implement the very fundamental changes they suggest
none of the trainers delivering DULUTH training would have a clue how to
start. Nobody may assume that any
particular child will be safer with their mother, because of her femaleness,
than they would be with a father because of his maleness. Ethnic minorities in Britain represent about
10% of the population. Female abusers in Britain represent about 15% of the
partner "abuser" population.
According to American statistics females are responsible for
about 62% of child abuse.
As far as work with abusers is concerned Birmingham Domestic Violence
Forum's Standard 17 is conclusively the opposite of its motto:
Disempowering, because it does not even expect or encourage change
in the behaviour of men - it merely seeks to "hold them accountable".
like IDAP requires work to be undertaken in front of video cameras, "for
quality control purposes".
Not open, because only males, in heterosexual relationships may attend.
Unsafe, because the system "promotes" large drop-out rates,
ignores working with the emotional issues in favour of working with a
non-credible, and discredited dogma (power and control). It further seeks to
involve both partners in a dangerous "triangular relationship" with an
Starting in 1995 the organisation has delivered well over 100 courses for more than 750 people, We are aware of 54 of these people who have become violent, aggressive, abusive again.
In 2004 we became members of RESPECT. Whilst members, as agreed, we delivered only single sex courses. However, with 14.9% of serious domestic violence cases involving women as the abusers, RESPECT's denial and minimisation of the problem, as outlined in their "Minimum Standards Policy" looks increasingly suspect, based as it is on the notion that patriarchy is the root cause of domestic violence, which is simply statistically incorrect and it leaves female abusers with nowhere to go and people in gay and lesbian relationships unable to choose to take part in groups.
Very substantial and balanced criticism of current policies in America is available at the addresses given in blue on page 8.
You can also Google "Duluth perpetrator programmes" to read of the lack of statistical evidence supporting the use of the overlong, over-complex and resource hungry programme which the Probation Service now "Accredits". The word accredit does not mean that the programme is effective, merely that it fits within a recognised (and imposed) framework.
The efforts with men seem to be to encourage the development of empathy towards their victim. We suspect that neither the roots nor the buds of empathy will be found in the undrawn stumps of pro-feminism!
Described as a snapshot the following information can be read from the RELATE website
Three Relate centres ran projects with domestic abusers.
Bridge project in Coventry started in March 2005, which means that up to
December 2007 when the report was written, it had been running for 142 weeks (at 4 weeks per month).
Change project in Bournemouth started in May 2005, which means it had been
running for 136 weeks and the Somerset Change project started in September 2005
which means it had been running for 118 weeks.
Bridging to change:
All three projects run a 30 week course. (p 15).
The Bridge project had 19 men who completed the work.
If we take off the 30 weeks before which they could not have had a completion
this meant that 19 men completed the work in 112 weeks.
The Bournemouth Change project had seven men who completed the work, similarly this meant in 106 weeks.
The Somerset Change project had 10 men who completed
the work, in 88 weeks.
To summarise: 19 men completed in 112 weeks, seven completed in
106 weeks and 10 completed in 88 weeks. 35 men completed in 3 projects in 306
There is therefore one completion per nine weeks. This averages out at about six completions
per project per year, a truly outstanding contribution!
And as Dr Aneta D Tunariu
said later the drop-out rates peaked around 3 to 6 weeks!!!!! Just how much would have been learnt by that time?
Having discovered that the IDAP programme (via the Probation Service) did not deliver any effective outcomes of note it was scrapped. Where did that leave Duluth?
Well, remember that the programme is meant to be a firewall against therapeutic work! More able course designers who have experimented with an "intensive" format have had to realise that they also could not make that work and started to experiment with "one-to-one" work. RESPECT of course resented this - it was circumventing their "authority". So of course the accreditation standard for 1-to-1 work is "not less than 25 hours!". "Motivational interviewing" is the technique. Firstly most of the people are not lacking in motivation - what they need is concrete help not further obstancles!
To undertake a meaningful academic study about the effectiveness of the work would cost at least £18000, money which we have never had available. But anecdotally we believe we have been very successful.
In 2002 a man we'll call Dave took part. Three years before that he had been assessed by a Social Services sponsored psychologist as having a severe personality disorder. Two years after undertaking our work the same psychologist declared that opinion to be outdated, and moreover he was astounded at the progress this young man had made. Dave's testimonial is printed below. He tells it right. It was not because of TEMPER, he made the changes himself. Without TEMPER he would not have managed any changes. We would add that after the 36 hours he had minimum support.