The Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services is a state-wide peak organisation committed to improving the status of women and children in society. They seek to ensure that all women and children live free of domestic and family violence.
Perhaps one of the most well developed FDV perpetrator program approaches based on differentiation according to risk is found in Colorado (Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board, 2016; Hansen, 2016; Gover, Richards & Tomsich, 2015).
This is a unique approach where the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board, as part of the standards it sets for batterer intervention program providers across the state, requires providers to differentiate their interventions according to perpetrator level of risk.
Differentiation of perpetrators into these categories is determined by a comprehensive risk assessment process developed in Colorado, the Domestic Violence Risk and Needs Assessment Instrument (DVRNA). The DVRNA is an evidence-based comprehensive risk assessment framework and tool, with quantitative scoring to assist in differentiating perpetrators according to degree of risk and complexity surrounding the perpetrator’s offending. As the title suggests, while a risk assessment tool, the DVRNA also compiles assessment information concerning the dynamic risk factors and criminogenic needs that might need addressing as part of the intervention approach for any given perpetrator. In this sense a higher intensity category does not only mean higher risk – it also means greater complexity in the nature and range of issues that might need to be addressed in order for the program to reduce the risk that he poses.
To learn more about the Colorado Approach visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dcj/dvomb-research-reports and https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dcj/dvomb-standards
Leading work on assisting evaluators and program providers to measure the outcomes of MBCP work has arisen from Europe through Project IMPACT, conducted by the European Work with Perpetrators Network. This project has developed a new outcome measurement tool, that is one of the most promising developed in terms of both its ability to capture outcomes that matter to women and children, and its simplicity to enable use in the busy context of program provision. The tool is administered during four time points during and after the perpetrator’s participation in a program, with separate versions for the man’s (ex)partner and for himself.
Learn more about the tool
This project, which commenced last year, aims to develop and evaluate a new model of program based on the best fit with both the evidence and practitioner-based consensus of what makes an effective program, for whom, and under what conditions.
Learn more about this project