Mandated Program Leads To Drop In Domestic Violence

Aug 26, 2013

A new study finds that mothers who participated in a domestic violence awareness program were more likely to leave abusive relationships.
Credit Ian D. Keating via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mothers who completed a mandated domestic violence program were more likely to end abusive relationships. That’s according to new research out from the School of Social Work at UNC-Chapel Hill. The study looked at mothers who were mandated by courts or child services to take a 13-week program and learn methods on, parenting, self-advocacy and safety.

“One thing that we’re finding is that we’re helping women look at their lives a little differently and look at the impacts on their kids. And that may be a bit of a motivator to say ‘Okay this domestic violence situation isn’t just impacting me, it’s impacting my children, and I may need to do something different’,” said Rebecca Macy, who led the study.

Seventy women were required by court or social services to complete a domestic violence program participated in the study.  Macy adds more than 80 percent of the women left abusive partners within three months of completing the program.  The research looked at two non-profit organizations in Raleigh that are trying to prevent child abuse and work with families with domestic violence.

“Almost nearly 100 percent of them said ‘I’m experiencing less physical abuse, less psychological abuse form my partner’ and part of that is they’re just leaving the relationship. But even the women who are in the relationship are experiencing less violence,” Macy added

UNC researchers are pleased with the results but say a more stringent study is needed before the local non-profit organizations can be replicated and promoted as an evidence-based practice.