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Violence Vict. 1997 Winter;12(4):373-87.

Patterns of reassault in batterer programs.

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Mid-Atlantic Addiction Training Institute, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA.


A comparative multisite evaluation was conducted of four "well-established" batterer programs in geographically distributed cities to assess the pattern of reassault. Eight hundred and forty batterers were recruited and tested at program intake from each site (210 per site). The batterers and their partners were interviewed by phone every 3 months for 15 months after intake with a response rate for the female partners of nearly 70% for the full follow-up. According to initial victims, 31% of the men reassaulted during the follow-up. The reassault rate varies only slightly when adjusting for new partners (32%) or no partner contact (32%), but substantially more when adjusting for reports from the batterers (36%) and batterers plus arrest record (39%). Rates of verbal abuse (70%) and threats (43%) are much higher, but 73% of the women report feeling "very safe." Nearly half of the men who reassaulted did so within 3 months after program intake. "Voluntary" participants were significantly more likely to reassault (44% vs. 29%), as were program dropouts (40% vs. 28%). The "well-established" batterer programs appear to contribute to a short-term cessation of assault in the majority of batterers. However, a small portion of the men are unaffected by or unresponsive to the intervention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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