Mandated Counseling Significantly Reduces a Repeat of Intimate Partner Violence

SONY DSCA study led by Rebecca J. Macy, the L. Richardson Preyer Distinguished Chair for Strengthening Families and professor of social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that women who completed a mandatory intimate-partner violence program were less likely to be victimized again and were more likely to leave an abusive spouse or partner.

The study examined a group of women who were ordered by the court or social agency to undergo a 13-week program called Mothers Overcoming Violence through Education and Empowerment (MOVE). Women in the program are educated on violence prevention techniques, anger management, communication skills, parenting, and other topics.

The results of the study showed that women who completed the program saw a 95.6 percent reduction in the likelihood that they would experience a repeat episode of intimate partner violence and an 84 percent reduction in experiencing any sort of additional abuse. The study also found that the women were less likely to resort to psychological or other abuse themselves. The study also found that at the beginning of the training program 42 percent of participating women remained with the spouse or partner who had abuse them. Three months after the conclusion of the training, only 19 percent were still living with the abusive partner.

The UNC study, entitled “Changes in Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Mandated to Community Services,” was published on the website of the journal Research and Social Work Practice. It may be accessed here.

Professor Macy has been on the faculty at UNC since 2002. She is a graduate of Hanover College in Indiana. She holds a master of social work degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and a Ph.D. in social welfare from the University of Washington.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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