Targeting the Source of Domestic Violence

Facilitators Trained at Domestic Abuse Intervention Program in Duluth

Duluth, Minn.- .The “Duluth Model” has received worldwide praise for its work correcting domestic violence and abuse. At the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program on Superior St., people from across the world trained to implement the model in their communities.

Yet trainees are forced to ask themselves: if you were facilitating a rehab program like this, would you be ready to work on yourself, too? The Duluth Model relies on this, on everyone learning and reflecting.

“If you’re not willing as a facilitator to look at your own issues, then what kind of credibility do you have going into a room asking a bunch of men to work on theirs?” said Interim Executive Director Scott Miller.

“Creating a Process of Change for Men who Batter” is an initiative that encourages facilitators to sit down with offenders, focus on what drives them to violence, and work on how to move towards being a better partner when trying to get what they want.

“It’s about the process,” said trainee Isabel Osuna-Gatty.”It’s about allowing people to recognize their behaviors to recognize where those behaviors come from, and then allow them to process that themselves.”

Facilitators are both women and men. That concept, called co-facilitation, broadens men’s perspectives, holds them accountable, and floods them with a guilty realization.

“Like one guy said, it’s something to sit in a room with women, talking to a woman, about what you’ve done to women.” said Miller.

The Duluth Model is made to be adaptable. This is crucial in Osuna-Gatty’s case. She lives in Australia, and plans to introduce the Duluth Model there to both educate and prevent domestic abuse. Yet co-facilitation won’t mesh well with Aborigine and Australian Migrant cultures.

“It’s a cultural thing,” she said. “Men deal with men, and women deal with women.”

The reasons men batter and the tactics they use, which is illustrated in the Duluth Model through what is called “The Power-Control Wheel,” are largely universal across the globe.

Also, directors found that most women who are victims are positive. They hope their abusers will change thanks to the program, so they can return home to their loving families.


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