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presentations on domestic violence and batterer intervention

I have recently given 2 presentations on domestic violence and batterers intervention at classes at University of Missouri. I have been having students email me their notes and thought it might be interesting to post one of them. The one I posted here I did with Elise, the Shelter counselor, which went pretty well. I did  a better one last night with Nancy, my batterer group co-facilitator but the notes weren’t as good.


·        They all think that they are pretty good guys.

·        How can that be?

o       Obfuscation

§         They don’t see it clearly; it is not seen clearly by anyone.

§         EX – domestic violence survivors that love their abusers

o       Minimize

§         It wasn’t a big deal. The “Halo Effect” – it is easier to remember the good times than the bad times.

o       Deny

§         Lying – it happened but you can’t admit it.

§         Lying to self – it didn’t happen and I don’t have to do anything.

o       Blame

§         Blaming the victim – she made me do it. All of society does this. Or, I was drunk, I was high; I am not like this.

ú         EX – why does she stay? Instead, we should ask – why does he do it?

1 out of 3 marriages will experience domestic violence in the first year. 2 out of 3 will experience it at some point. The point is that it is extremely common.

Alcohol increases the level of violence but does not cause violence in itself.

Men referred by the courts; in general, jail is better at getting results than groups. Try not to offer it as a deferment for jail terms.

The peer influence is what makes the groups work. They need to be held accountable.

The men’s group at FCC is not just for those who have committed a violent act; it is also for those who are controlling in their relationships. It is a 27 week program. This group is about changing attitudes and beliefs. The 27 weeks is just the tip of the iceberg, it is only the beginning of change.

Honor the fact that what survivors have done has saved their lives up to this point. Don’t tell them what they need to do. Just offer support.

The heart of domestic violence is not hitting; it is all about power and control (emotional and mental abuse). As bad as the physical abuse was, it was not as bad as when he called me names and isolated me.


·        No matter how women use their voice – it is still a social problem.

·        All the isms come to play when we talk about domestic violence and sexual assault.

o       Domestic violence happens at the same rate in the queer community as in the straight community.

·        Stalking is something that generally happens at the tail end of the relationship. Many women don’t even realize that they are being abused or stalked until they have the opportunity to seek out help.

·        Issue of marital rape – very difficult to address because we have a hard time talking about sex in the first place.

Categories: domestic violence
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