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From the Editorial Board of the Peer-Reviewed Journal, Partner Abuse and the Advisory Board of the Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs







Resources for researchers, policy-makers, intervention providers, victim advocates, law enforcement, judges, attorneys, family court mediators, educators, and anyone interested in family violence

From Ideology to Inclusion:
Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence

Friday/Saturday, February 15-16, 2008
Clarion Hotel Mansion Inn, Sacramento, California


Murray Straus

Murray Straus - 30 Years of Research on Partner Violence:
Denials and Distortions of the Evidence and What to do About it.

Running Time: 55 minutes.
Click here to watch video on You Tube.

In this presentation, one of the most significant and respected figures in the field debunks a number of established myths about intimate partner violence.

Part 1 summarizes results from many studies which show that: (1) Women perpetrate and initiate physical attacks on partners at the same or higher rate as men. (2) Most partner violence is mutual. (3) Partner violence has multiple causes, only one of which is to preserve a patriarchal societal and family system. (4) Motives for partner violence are parallel for men and women. (5) Self-defense explains only a small percent of partner violence by women. (6) Men cause more fear and injury, but about a third of the injuries and deaths are inflicted by female partners.

Part 2 provides empirical evidence that these research results are often denied, suppressed or misrepresented. This includes publications of the National Institute of Justice and scientific journals.

Part 3 argues that ignoring this overwhelming evidence has crippled prevention and treatment programs and suggests ways in which prevention and treatment efforts might be improved by changing ideologically-based programs to programs based on evidence from the past 30 years of research.

Erin Pizzey

Erin Pizzey - A History of the Domestic Violence Movement in the Western World

Running Time: 54 minutes.
Click here to watch video on You Tube.

The presenter begins with the early history of the domestic violence movement, and her efforts to open the first shelter for women and their children in 1971. The early history of the feminist movement in England is discussed, and the ensuing battle between advocates who conceptualized domestic violence as a human and family issue rather than a gender issue, and those who used the movement as a means of funding and advancing a radical political ideology based on Marxist teaching.

This presentation describes in detail the importance of this ideological split, and how the needs and wishes of women have often been ignored. The presentation ends with a general description of where we are now and suggestions for the future.

Don Dutton

Don Dutton - Biased Assimilation, Belief Perseverance Groupthink, and the Social Psychology of the Domestic Violence Movement

Running Time: 80 minutes.
Click here to watch video on You Tube.

Social psychological studies of groups and individuals reveal how both ward off ideas and data that disconfirm strongly held beliefs. Biased assimilation and belief perseverance refers to the differential processing of belief consonant and belief dissonant data. Groupthink refers to how social influence factors enhance this assimilation bias.

We examine, with several examples, this processing feature both in social science studies of domestic violence and in government responses to the problem. All bias exists in one direction and is not, therefore, simply random error. It exists in the direction of the “paradigm” of domestic violence (i.e. male = perpetrator, female= victim) which has its roots in Mackinnon’s Marxist notion of gender relations, and hence, associates maleness with oppression and domination and femaleness with victim-hood.

These broad associative complexes color all perceptions of intimate violence as being instrumental and dominating for males, and self defensive and acceptable for females. The numerous shortcomings of this view are discussed with examples.