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RADAR Report Shows DV Programs May Worsen Partner Abuse

Today RADAR is releasing an explosive new report that reveals most domestic violence programs are ineffective, and some actually worsen abusive situations. "Why Have Domestic Violence Programs Failed to Stop Partner Abuse?" analyzes the research on four widely-used strategies to reduce partner abuse:

  1. Treatment services for abusers: While treatment services based on the so-called Duluth model are flatly ineffective, gender-specific services for female abusers are generally unavailable, the report reveals.
  2. Restraining orders: Two to three million restraining orders are issued every year in the United States. But such orders are generally ineffective in preventing physical violence. Researcher Lora Dugan concluded in one study that protection orders are associated with "increases in the number of black women killed by their unmarried partners."
  3. Mandatory arrest: Mandatory arrest laws are now on the books in 37 states, but according to a recent Harvard University study, such laws increase subsequent partner homicides by 60%. "Mandatory arrest laws are responsible for an additional 0.8 murders per 100,000 people," concludes Harvard researcher Radha Iyengar.
  4. No-drop prosecution: No-drop prosecution policies, now in effect in two-thirds of jurisdictions around the country, likewise have no proof of their value.

The report will surely disappoint those who keep calling for ever-harsher law enforcement measures to curb domestic violence. We urge you to read this milestone report, which can be seen at: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Why-DV-Programs-Fail-to-Stop-Abuse.pdf.

Then we encourage you to distribute this flyer at the next Domestic Violence Awareness Month event that you attend: http://mediaradar.org/docs/RADARflyer-VAWA-Programs-Ineffective-or-Harmful.pdf.

Let's begin to get the word out that VAWA badly needs to be reformed!

Date of RADAR Release: October 9, 2007

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://mediaradar.org