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.
Family Violence Prevention Services
This is a story about one counseling program's success in defeating
shelter feminist efforts to dictate domestic violence counseling
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
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
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
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