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Battering and Domestic Violence

The right solution for battering is to counsel the woman to leave. Serious cases of domestic violence are symptomatic of the existence of deep-seated psychological problems on the part of the batterer. Further, the average abusive male does not respond positively to counseling or therapy. Thus abused women find themselves confronting their abusers again and again, despite intervention from law enforcement agencies.

Ellen Pence, an expert in domestic violence advises women, "Leave because even the best of programs, even Duluth's, cannot insure that a violent man will change his ways" (Hoffman 67). Pence was a founder of the abuse-intervention program in Duluth, Minnesota, the highlight of which is a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases. The criminal charge filed in such cases is misdemeanor assault. Police dispatched to the scene of alleged domestic violence are instructed to make arrests if physical injuries are evident. First-time offenders are jailed overnight. Defendants who plead guilty can be sentenced to 30 days in jail and required to complete a 26-week batterer's program while on probation. Despite accolades for the ten-year program, its effect on prevention of abuse has been negligible. As Pence admits, "We have no evidence to show that it [the program] has had any general deterrent effect" (Hoffman 25).

Batterer's programs are most effective on first-time offenders or men who resort to abuse sporadically. The more lethal type of batterer suffers from psychological problems which do not respond to short-term counseling. For instance, some of the men were victims of child abuse. Others are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Although these problems should not be viewed as an excuse for battering, clearly the abusive male presents a serious threat that should never be taken lightly. In fact, imprisonment and undergoing treatment for abusive behavior only seems to exacerbate this behavior in some...

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Battering and Domestic Violence. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:08, August 03, 2020, from