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Reducing the Harm of Intimate Partner Violence: Randomized Controlled Trial of the Hampshire Constabulary CARA Experiment

NCJ Number
Heather Strang; Lawrence Sherman; Barak Ariel; Scott Chilton; Robert Braddock; Tony Rowlinson; Nicky Cornelius; Robin Jarman; Cristobal Weinborn
Date Published
14 pages

This paper lays out the research methodology, findings, and discussion of conclusions from a randomly assigned controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of a group-based intervention for males arrested for, and admitting to, low-risk intimate partner violence as a first domestic offence.


In this paper, the authors explore the question of whether a randomly assigned requirement to attend two weekend, day-long Cautioning and Relationship Abuse (CARA) workshops that included a total of five to eight males arrested for low-risk intimate partner violence as a first domestic offence, reduced the total severity of the crime harm relative to a no-workshop control group. The authors randomly assigned eligible offenders to the CARA workshop attendance requirement or to the no-workshop requirement, with 91 percent of all cases receiving treatment as randomly assigned. Each offender’s records of police contact were tracked for exactly 365 days after the date of random assignment. All repeat arrests or complaints of crime naming the 293 randomly assigned offenders were coded by the Cambridge Crime Harm Index (CHI) as the primary outcome measure for each offender, with the sum of total days of recommended imprisonment for each offence (as the guideline starting point for sentencing) summed across all new offences, with both domestic and non-domestic relationships to their victims. The authors also computed prevalence and frequency of repeat contact, and all analysis was done by intention-to-treat. Findings demonstrated that the frequency of re-arrest for domestic abuse and prevalence favored the CARA workshop group. The authors conclude suggest that the CARA workshops are an effective way to reduce the future harm of domestic abuse among first offenders who admit their crime, although effect size may vary over time. Publisher Abstract Provided