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Characteristics and Treatment of Batterers

NCJ Number
Behavioral Sciences and the Law Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1990) Pages: 131-140
R Geffner; A Rosenbaum
Date Published
10 pages
In the past decade, substantial research has been conducted to determine batterers' characteristics and how best to treat them.
Many abusers are alcoholic and try to use this to excuse their behavior, but alcohol is considered neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause. Batterers are commonly associated with psychopathology and personality disorders, but no distinct batterer profile has emerged. Relationship factors such as dependency, occupational/educational status incompatibility, and religious and racial differences are also implicated. Treatment programs have focused on anger and stress management, improving communication and self-esteem, and changing batterers' traditional or patriarchal beliefs, but research has not determined the effectiveness of these programs. Central to the approaches used by most treatment programs are the beliefs that violence is learned behavior which can be unlearned, provocation does not justify violence, and that the probability of violent behavior can be reduced by creating unfavorable circumstances. Battering was once considered only a domestic problem, but the criminal justice system now labels it a criminal assault and more than before issues restraining orders and arrests the perpetrators. 35 references. (Author abstract modified)


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