What's wrong with the Duluth Model?

Many Intimate Partner Violence treatment programs around the world, not least in the UK, are adopting the Duluth model, created by the Duluth, Minnesota Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. One of the most well known UK programmes following this model is the Freedom Programme created Pat Craven, which many practitioners consider to be extremely problematic and harmful.


The model was developed, not by a team of psychologists and research scientists, but in consultation with "a small group of activists in the battered women's movement". Central to the Duluth Model is the idea that men who batter don't have a personal problem, but are simply reflecting "a culture that teaches men to dominate". The model rejects treatment through insight models, family systems theory or cognitive-behavioral models in favour of what supporters call a "sociopolitical model". There has been increasing concern about this approach.


Currently, three offending behaviour programmes for DV perpetrators have been accredited by the Correctional Services Accreditation Panel (the body that helps the Ministry of Justice to develop offender programmes) and are delivered in prisons and the community. These are the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) and the Community Domestic Violence Programme (CDVP), both delivered in the community, and the Healthy Relationships Programme (HRP) delivered in custody. The IDAP is a Duluth‐model programme, and CDVP and HRP are cognitive behavioural programmes.


The following article sets out the arguments against the Duluth Model.

What's Wrong with the Duluth Model.pdf
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