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«Evaluation of Three Court-Mandated Family Violence Interventions: FVEP, EXPLORE, and EVOLVE Stephen M. Cox, Ph.D. Professor Pierre M. Rivolta, Ph.D. ...»

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4) Encourage men to consider how they influence the lives of their children through modeling, with an emphasis on modeling abusive behavior and how they can reverse the impact of their modeling abuse to children.

Court-Mandated Family Violence Interventions Central Connecticut State University

5) Develop collaborative relationship with children’s mother and acknowledge the apprehensiveness of the mother. How to end manipulative behaviors towards both the mother and child. Develop authentic, positive behaviors in interacting with the other parent regardless of relationship status with the child’s mother.

6) Substance abuse. Encourage the men to review the impact that substance use has had on their relationship with their children and partner. The men should determine how to assess their substance use and develop a plan on reversing the negative behaviors.

Sexuality and violence (4 lessons) Purpose: Women who have experienced sexual violence suggest that it may be the most damaging of all forms of violence against women. The role of sex and sexuality in domestic violence situations is openly and honestly discussed and explored. The men will begin to recognize harmful sexual expectations, explore the links between sex and violence, and develop personal strategies for becoming sexually respectful men.

1) Expectations and communication about sex. Explore consequences of silence about sexuality and describe social and cultural expectations and how gender and cultural expectations affect intimate relationships. Double sexual standards described.

2) Sexual respect. Distinguishing between respectful and disrespectful behaviors.

3) Making the connections between sex and violence. Review of laws on marital and acquaintance rape as well as distinguishing between forced and consensual sex. Many scenarios are reviewed to illustrate and differentiate between each form.

4) Developing healthy ways of effectively communicating about sex with partner, managing intimacy, and becoming sexually responsible men.

Summary The EVOLVE program essentially follows a cognitive-behavioral therapeutic approach by conditioning program participants during the “ongoing education” component and then initiating behavioral changes during the “change group.” Each major component to the program contains a certain number of lessons that are outlined above. When a new component is introduced, it is explained in a very broad sense. Each subsequent lesson expands upon the topic by providing in-depth coverage through a variety of techniques, most notably, role-play and scenario usage.

The role-play’s and scenario’s illustrate the most harmful and detrimental effects of domestic violence and then begin to transition towards emphasizing healthy ways to resolve issues that may have otherwise resulted in domestic violence for this group of offenders.

While EVOLVE does a relatively thorough job of touching on many of the topics that surround domestic violence offenders, like EXPLORE, this program does not devote enough attention to substance abuse issues. Substance use is clearly impermissible in the EVOLVE program as outlined during orientation, however, drug testing is not part of the program. “To increase the likelihood of success in the program, group members are expected not to use illegal drugs or alcohol. Facilitators who suspect that a group member has come to a session under the influence of drugs or alcohol will ask him to leave the session. Such sessions will be counted as absences and the facilitator will notify the probation officer or other referral agent of the situation” (Orientation, pp. 5-6). Expecting program participants not to use illegal drugs or alcohol based on trust may not be realistic, as such, so long as the facilitator does not know, participants are technically in compliance as long as they are not under the influence during group, therefore this may have some impact on program completion rates for both EVOLVE and EXPLORE.

Court-Mandated Family Violence Interventions Central Connecticut State University Substance abuse is mentioned in only one lesson of EVOLVE, (detailed in lesson six of the “fatherhood and domestic violence” component). In this lesson, participants are merely encouraged to review the impact of their substance abuse on their relationship and to determine how to assess their substance use in developing a plan on reversing negative behaviors. For a program that challenges the ideals and beliefs of domestic violence offenders at every turn, this lesson rather passively challenges the issue of substance abuse. Because substance abuse can be considered to be a comorbid contributing factor associated with domestic violence, more

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