What help exists for People-Who-Harm?
April 26, 2017 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I've been studying cycles of violence and abuse. Though I've found many resources for survivors, I see few geared towards abusers.

First: I am not at risk in any way; this is not for a friend or acquaintance; I am simply interested. Please bypass this question if it's painful for you.

I especially want to know about resources and research that engage with domestic and dating violence, emotional/verbal abuse, and abuse in kink and queer communities. I'm curious about complex cases, for someone who both receives and perpetrates abuse. And what about broader social response – I've heard about community accountability processes and transformative justice, but I don't really get the specifics.

So: How do abusive people get help? How do treatments target specific abuse patterns and behaviors? What do we know about the effectiveness of various interventions?
posted by fritillary to Human Relations (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
There's the Safer Living Foundation in the UK. They work with people who have committed sexual offences and provide them with support with the aim of reducing rates of reoffending.
posted by pipeski at 3:37 PM on April 26, 2017

IVAT provides research on both survivors and perpetrators of violence and trauma. You might check out their journals.
posted by lazuli at 3:40 PM on April 26, 2017

Are you specifically interested in resources for perpetrators of intimate partner violence (aka domestic violence), or are you looking for resources for adult perpetrators of abuse toward any victim?
posted by epj at 4:09 PM on April 26, 2017

Response by poster: Toward any victim, but more focused resources are also welcome.
posted by fritillary at 4:11 PM on April 26, 2017

Circles of Support and Accountability.
Many Domestic violence organizations run programs like STEPS.
posted by SyraCarol at 4:26 PM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective centers around people facing childhood sexual abuse, but is all about "accountability and resiliency for all — survivors, bystanders, and those who have abused others."
posted by shalom at 4:30 PM on April 26, 2017

Best answer: Several of the essays in The Revolution Starts at Home might be relevant, especially What Does It Feel Like When Change Finally Comes: Male Supremacy, Accountability and Transformative Justice (PDF link).
posted by thrungva at 7:00 PM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Unsure if they're still active, but Philly Stands Up exist(s/ed) specifically to work with perpetrators of sexual assault on changing their behavior and making amends to the victim/community. Might be worth getting in touch with some former members for information even if the organization is no longer active.
posted by cnidaria at 7:16 PM on April 26, 2017

In my area, there are a few programs for people who have abused others - the Partner Assault Response Program (PAR) may be court mandated for some people, and the Partners for Healthy Relationships is a good follow up (both available through John Howard Society).

Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) has programs for people who have committed certain crimes - with a focus on restorative justice - including a program for those who have sexually offended.
posted by VioletU at 7:23 PM on April 26, 2017

I would recommend the book Love Without Hurt by Steven Stosny.
posted by Sublimity at 5:02 AM on April 27, 2017

Pervert Park is a documentary available on Netflix about a community of sex offenders living together in a trailer park. It includes some clips from group therapy sessions and several individuals explaining how they came to be sex offenders and what they do to avoid re-offending. There are complex cases. The therapist who works with them also talks about starting the program and the lack of resources available to offenders seeking help.

I don't know how active they currently are, but Generation Five works on restorative justice around child abuse.
posted by momus_window at 7:56 AM on April 27, 2017

I would also recommend Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. Although it is framed as man-on-woman domestic abuse, he states within the book that it is meant to be inclusive of any gender, and there is a chapter specifically on LGBT DV. I found it useful with my own experience in the latter. The book has a good breakdown of how traditional couples counseling fails in DV relationships, and what does actually work to rehabilitate abusers.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:35 AM on April 27, 2017

Best answer: I think the phrase you're looking for is "batterer intervention", search for that on Google Scholar and you'll get a large number of results.

The short version is: batterer intervention has never been proven to work on a systemic level, so most resources get directed to treating/helping/ empowering victims, which has been proven to work, repeatedly.
posted by Ndwright at 12:56 PM on April 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Support groups for men who pay for sex.
posted by BusyBusyBusy at 5:02 AM on April 28, 2017

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