The Duluth Model or Domestic Abuse Intervention Project is a program developed to reduce domestic violence against women. It is named after Duluth, Minnesota, the city where it was developed. The program was largely founded by Ellen Pence and Michael Paymar.
As of 2006[update], the Duluth Model is the most common batterer intervention program used in the United States. Critics argue that the method can be ineffective as it was developed without minority communities in mind and can fail to address root psychological or emotional causes of abuse, in addition to completely neglecting male victims of abuse.
Origin and theory
The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project was the first multi-disciplinary program designed to address the issue of domestic violence. This experimental program, conducted in Duluth in 1981, coordinated the actions of a variety of agencies dealing with domestic conflict. The Duluth model curriculum was developed by a "small group of activists in the battered women’s movement"  with 5 battered women and 4 men as subjects. The program has become a model for programs in other jurisdictions seeking to deal more effectively with domestic violence.
The feminist theory underlying the Duluth Model is that men use violence within relationships to exercise power and control. This is illustrated by the "Power and Control Wheel," a graphic typically displayed as a poster in participating locations. According to the Duluth Model, "women and children are vulnerable to violence because of their unequal social, economic, and political status in society." Treatment of abusive men is focused on re-education, as "we do not see men’s violence against women as stemming from individual pathology, but rather from a socially reinforced sense of entitlement."  The program's philosophy is intended to help batterers work to change their attitudes and personal behavior so they would learn to be nonviolent in any relationship.
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A U.S. study published in 2002 sponsored by the federal government found that batterers who complete programs based on the Duluth model are less likely to repeat acts of domestic violence than those who do not complete any batterers' intervention program.
A 2003 study conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Justice found the Duluth Model to have "little or no effect." However, this study had considerable shortfalls. The National Institute of Justice said in its introduction, "...response rates were low, many people dropped out of the program, and victims could not be found for subsequent interviews. The tests used to measure batterers' attitudes toward domestic violence and their likelihood to engage in future abuse were of questionable validity."
A 2003 longitudinal, four-year evaluation by E W Gondolf, covering four cities, shows clear deescalation of reassault and other abuse, with 80% of men reaching sustained non-violence.
A 2005 study led by Larry Bennett, a professor of social work at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an expert on batterer intervention programs, found that of the 30 batterer intervention programs in Cook County, Illinois, 15 percent of batterers who completed the programs were rearrested for domestic violence, compared with 37 percent of those who dropped out of the programs. However, Bennett said the studies are largely meaningless because they lacked a proper control group. He added that participants who complete domestic violence programs are likely to be more motivated than others to improve behavior and would be less inclined to offend again.
A 2011 review of the effectiveness of batterers intervention programs (BIP) (primarily Duluth Model) found that "there is no solid empirical evidence for either the effectiveness or relative superiority of any of the current group interventions," and that "the more rigorous the methodology of evaluation studies, the less encouraging their findings." That is, as BIPs in general, and Duluth Model programs in particular are subject to increasingly rigorous review, their success rate approaches zero.
A 2014 news report reported zero percent recidivism within 5 years for a batterers intervention program based on Nonviolent Communication, and contrasted this with a recidivism rate of 40 percent within 5 years for a batterers intervention program based on the Duluth Model as reported by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project.
Criticism of the Duluth Model has centered on the program's insistence that men are perpetrators who are violent because they have been socialized in a patriarchy that condones male violence, and that women are victims who are violent only in self-defense. Some critics argue that "programs based on the Duluth Model may ignore research linking domestic violence to substance abuse and psychological problems, such as attachment disorders, traced to childhood abuse or neglect, or the absence of a history of adequate socialization and training." Others criticize the Duluth model as being overly confrontational rather than therapeutic, focusing solely on changing the abuser's actions and attitudes rather than dealing with underlying emotional and psychological issues. Donald Dutton, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia who has studied abusive personalities, states: "The Duluth Model was developed by people who didn't understand anything about therapy," and also points out that "lesbian battering is more frequent than heterosexual battering." Philip W. Cook points out that in the case of homosexual domestic violence, the patriarchy is absent: there is no male dominance of women in same-sex relationships, and in fact, female on female abuse is reported more than twice as frequently as male on male abuse. Furthermore, some critics point out that the model ignores the reality that women are often times the perpetrators of domestic violence in heterosexual relationships, as well.
Its proponents counter that the Duluth model is effective and makes best use of scarce resources. However, Ellen Pence herself has written,
"By determining that the need or desire for power was the motivating force behind battering, we created a conceptual framework that, in fact, did not fit the lived experience of many of the men and women we were working with. The DAIP staff [...] remained undaunted by the difference in our theory and the actual experiences of those we were working with [...] It was the cases themselves that created the chink in each of our theoretical suits of armor. Speaking for myself, I found that many of the men I interviewed did not seem to articulate a desire for power over their partner. Although I relentlessly took every opportunity to point out to men in the groups that they were so motivated and merely in denial, the fact that few men ever articulated such a desire went unnoticed by me and many of my coworkers. Eventually, we realized that we were finding what we had already predetermined to find."
- Abusive power and control
- Relationship counseling
- Relationship education
- Violence Against Women Act
- Outline of domestic violence
- Linda G. Mills (2009). Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Abuse. Basic Books. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7867-3187-9.
- Wayne Bennett; Kären Hess (2006). Criminal Investigation (8th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 281. ISBN 0-495-09340-8.
- Ellen Pence; Michael Paymar (1993). Education Groups for Men Who Batter: The Duluth Model. Springer Publishing Company. p. xiii. ISBN 978-0-8261-7990-6.
- Domestic Abuse Intervention Project: History Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- Janice Haaken (2010). Hard Knocks: Domestic Violence and the Psychology of Storytelling. Routledge. p. 23. ISBN 978-1-135-15734-0.
- "The Duluth Model". Minnesota Program Development, Inc. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008.
- Twohey, Megan (2 January 2009). "How Can Domestic Violence Be Stopped?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
- "Batterers' intervention recidivism rates lowest known to date". Mountain Democrat (Placerville, CA). 30 April 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Fisher, Andy, Rick Goodwin and Mark Patton. 2009. “Men & Healing: Theory, Research, and Practice in Working with Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.”[permanent dead link] The Men's Project, Funded by the Cornwall Public Inquiry
- Patriarchy and Wife Assault: The Ecological Fallacy, Violence & Victims 1994,9, (2), 125 - 140. (1994)
- Cook, Philip W. (2009). Abused Men: The Hidden Side of Domestic Violence. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 36–39. ISBN 9780313356186. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
- Michael Paymar and Graham Barnes, "Countering Confusion About the Duluth Model Archived 19 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine.", Battered Women’s Justice Project, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Pence, Ellen (1999). "Some Thoughts on Philosophy". In Shepherd, Melanie; Pence, Ellen. Coordinating Community Responses to Domestic Violence: Lessons from Duluth and Beyond. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage. pp. 29–30.
- "Power and Control Film". Power and Control: Domestic Violence in America. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
- Ellen Pence; Michael Paymar (1993). Education Groups for Men Who Batter: The Duluth Model. Springer Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8261-7990-6.
- Donald G Dutton (2006). Rethinking Domestic Violence. UBC Press. ISBN 978-0-7748-5987-5.; review by Walter S. DeKeseredy in Canadian Journal of Sociology Online November – December 2007
- Muslim Wheel of Domestic Violence a variation of the Duluth Power and Control Wheel