Offender' Treatment Programs for Battered Women Arrested for Domestic Violence

Susan L. Miller, University of Delaware
Michelle L. Meloy, University of Delaware

ABSTRACT


As an unintended consequence of mandatory and pro-arrest policies aimed at deterring domestic violence offenders, many battered women are finding themselves arrested and court-mandated to a treatment program designed for male abusers. Is this policy appropriate? Did these women use aggresive violence, self-defensive action, or something else? Do these programs offer any benefits to battered women, or does their existence undermine decades of work designed to help victims and punish offenders? This paper explores one state's experience with the legal and moral ambiguity surrounding offenders' treatment programs for battered women.

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Updated 05/20/2006