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Battered Men - The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence
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The Faulty Duluth Model

Duluth Model Successfully Challenged

Program gets North Carolina regulation requiring Duluth Model set aside.

by Dave Maupin
Family Violence Prevention Servies


I would be happy for you to use my email on your Men Web Battered Men site. I believe our success represents a victory for a family centered domestic violence counseling approach over the battered women's shelter movement and their preferred Duluth educational model.

In recent years, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, through their state chapters, has been pushing the Duluth philosophy and the adoption of rules that would mandate this shame and blame approach to counseling male "batterers" nationwide. I am told that over half the states have in place, or are considering, rules similar to the anti-men, anti-women, and anti-family rules that we contested here in NC.

    Dave Maupin
    Family Violence Prevention Services

This is a story about one counseling program's success in defeating shelter feminist efforts to dictate domestic violence counseling approaches statewide.

Shelter feminists in North Carolina and across the country see men in relationships as "perpetrators" and women as "victims". They continue to pressure their state representatives to pass legislation that would restrict domestic counseling (what they refer to as "batterer's treatment") to the Duluth educational model, a punitive, shame and blame approach that limits counseling solely to men. Needless to say, the Duluth model is a favorite among shelter feminists. Duluth is not supported by the research community and is used less and less by counseling professionals.

As you may know, Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPS) has vigorously contested the "temporary rules", first proposed as "guidelines" by the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1996, then issued by the Council for Women in October, 2000. These rules were based on the Duluth model. As a counseling professional with more than twenty years experience in violence prevention and treatment services, I have objected to the Council's "rules" because I believe they are anti-women and anti-family, and because I believe they have been written from a perspective that is vastly different from our own perspective and professional experience.

Domestic violence counseling programs should not all have to be the same, because all domestic violence is not the same, either in degree or in kind. Domestic violence is a complicated social problem, and a variety of treatment approaches will be needed to overcome it. The "temporary rules" that the Council has issued are unnecessarily restrictive and are not supported by current research in the field.

The Council's one-size-fits-all approach is, for all practical purposes, a head in the sand approach. Their approach fails to address the problem at hand. I believe the position that the Council and its supporters have taken will ultimately work against the best interests of many women and their families, and will bring an end to further study and innovation in a human service area where there are still many more questions than there are answers. There is no single best solution to this problem.

The majority of court-referred cases FVPS has received over the years involve intact families where victims, both men and women, want to maintain their relationships and want to find ways to solve family problems without violence. The Council's "rules" are based on a set of narrow assumptions that are not supported by the research or by clinical practice.

On 8/23/01, I received a letter from Joyce Taylor, Acting Abuser Program Coordinator for the Council, informing me that the Family Violence Prevention Services program would not be included in the list of "approved" abuser treatment programs. The Council's decision was based on non-compliance with their rules.

Upon receiving Ms. Taylor's letter, and at the direction of its Board of Directors, FVPS retained counsel with two Raleigh law firms: one to contest the Council's statutory authority in proposing abuser treatment program rules with the NC Rules Review Commission, and the other to file a motion for stay and preliminary injunction with the NC Office of Administrative Hearings concerning the Council's rule making authority.

On 10/19/01, I received a letter from T. Brooks Skinner, Jr., General Counsel, NC Department of Administration. In his letter, Mr. Skinner said the following: "Since we have withdrawn the abuser treatment rules from the Rules Review Commission, you will be receiving a separate letter informing you that your program has been reinstated to the approved list. The appropriate judges will also be informed of your reinstatement to the list."

The Council's "rules" never had any practical application to established, effective professional counseling programs that serve this population. Now that their rules have been withdrawn, experienced professionals across the state will no longer be told whom they can counsel, how they can counsel, and when and where they can counsel by an agency in Raleigh that has no expertise in counseling.

This has been a long, difficult, but rewarding struggle. May our success be the success of every professional domestic violence counseling program in North Carolina and across the country.

Dave Maupin, Director Family Violence Prevention Services


  What's Wrong with the Duluth Model?
     Blame and shame, not help. Ideology, not science. Ignores drinking, drugs, pathology, violence by women. One cause, one solution. Taught by "wounded healers." Gender-polarizing-perpetrates the "battle of the sexes"
  A Gender-Neutral Duluth Model
     For female perpetrators - a different "Duluth Model."
  It's Such Bullshit
     Anger Management for Men is Such Bullshit. It made me suicidal
  It's About Male Oppression of women
     preaches the "Duluth Model."
  Domestic Violations
     Cathy Young. Where there's mutual violence, joint counseling offers the best solution. But it's not allowed.
  Why Women Batter
     "He wasn't sensitive to my needs." "He wasn't listening."

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