S., founded in 1977 by psychologist David Adams, even states that the question of whether or not batterers can reform “does not have a simple answer. Tubman’s stance is that “violence is a learned behavior, but we know it can be unlearned,” says Polzin.
This relies on the offender’s probation officer reporting any offenses, or through Tubman’s staff checking a statewide criminal database.
“It’s about emotional regulation, behavioral management, communication and learning a new framework of relationships.
Power and control is one topic, but we also talk about how to tolerate discomfort and managing one’s own anxiety in the face of someone else’s anxiety, and how to stand on one’s own two feet while also being close to someone.” The counseling also focuses on revisiting past trauma.
“For years and years, if the survivors we were serving were trying to reconcile or go back [with their abuser] because they weren’t ready to leave, they were often reluctant to share that with us because they were fearful of more judgment.” They chose to work with, instead of against, the batterers.
They also the hope that batterer counseling will prevent abusers from reoffending.
A WHO review (Rothman et al., 2003) identified the following characteristics of programmes for boys and young men who are aggressors: The recommendations below provide only general guidance on batterer programmes, since it is difficult to make definitive suggestions given the limited knowledge-base to date and the fact that these programmes demonstrate only marginal success (Gondolf 2004).