Duluth Model for Preventing Further Violence

Domestic violence has long been a “private” or “family” problem; however, it has only recently become identified as a social problem and a public health problem.  Beginning in the 1970s, domestic violence shelters and support systems started springing up across the United States.  These shelters were in response to the vast number of women leaving violent relationships.

Murdered by intimate partners

Murdered by intimate partner

Although domestic violence relationships are not exclusively men abusing women, the vast majority of people who abuse are men.  This is an important for prevention of domestic violence.  By educating men about abuse, many of the instances of domestic violence will disappear.  The Duluth Model does just that.

The Duluth Model started out as DAIP (Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs) in Duluth, Minnesota.  Since 1980, it has been used to reform abusers that enter the criminal justice system.  “The results were strikingly effective in keeping batterers from continuing their abuse.”

Equality Wheel verses Power and Control Wheel

Equality Wheel verses Power and Control Wheel

The program has ten themes that hold the batterer accountable for his actions:

            • Non-Violence
            • Non-Threatening Behavior
            • Respect
            • Trust and Support
            • Honesty and Accountability
            • Sexual Respect
            • Shared Responsibility
            • Economic Partnership
            • Responsible Parenting
            • Negotiation and Fairness

A total of three weeks is spent on each theme.  The aim is to end violence against women through identifying that the power and control wheel is wrong and acceptance of the equality wheel.

Week One: Defining the theme, introspectively looking for examples in each man’s past intimate relationship, and discussing each man’s reaction.

Week Two: Watching and discussing a short vignette that gives a visual example of each anti-theme (how the men are being abusive).

Week Three: Practicing the healthy behaviors (themes).

Each theme is meant to show the men that their behavior is abusive. Moreover, discussions on each theme play into each man’s perception of his own behavior and how he can change it.  The program’s length is purposeful because it is what most men need to go through the stages of change.

Stages of Change

The Stages of Change is an important concept for behavior change.   There are five stages in the Stages of Change model:

Stages of Change Model

Stages of Change Model

  1. Pre-contemplation is where a person has no intention to change their behavior in the foreseeable future.
  2. Contemplation is where a person is aware that there is a problem in their life and they are thinking about ways to overcome this problem, but they have yet to take action to change.
  3. Preparation is the stage where people are intending to solve their problem within the next month.
  4. Action is where a person is actively modifying their behaviors, actions and environments to overcome their problem.
  5. Maintenance is the stage where people actively work to prevent relapse.  There is some dispute as to whether or not maintenance should be included in the stages of change model.

The Duluth Model works to help each participant get to the action stage, where they are making changes in their behaviors (such as breathing exercises to control their anger) and/or their environment (avoiding alcohol).







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