Batterer Accountability in Child Welfare Cases

The principle of batterer accountability suggests that domestic violence perpetrators, not their victims, should be held responsible for the effects of their actions on their children. It is important that child welfare workers not only engage domestic violence perpetrators in the process but also place the responsibility of ending the violence on them as well.

  • Batterer Accountability Wheel (PDF)
    This wheel begins to demonstrate the ideal community response to the issue of domestic violence. Community opinion, which strongly states that battering is unacceptable, leads all of our social institutions to expect full accountability from the batterer by applying appropriate consequences. (Developed by Domestic Violence Institute of Michigan; Adapted from Power & Control Equality Wheels developed by Domestic Abuse Intervention Project)
  • Achieving Batterer Accountability in the Child Protection System (PDF)
    While much has been written about domestic violence and child protection reform efforts, no one has asked why attempts to hold batterers accountable have been so unsuccessful or proposed alternative methods to hold perpetrators responsible for their actions. In this article, Leigh Goodmark (University of Maryland Francis King Carey School Of Law) answers that question and proposes alternatives to reflexively turning to the legal system. (Kentucky Law Journal, Vol. 93, No. 3, 2004-05)
  • Interviewing Perpetrators: Effective Responses (PDF)
    This document gives suggested responses to perpetrator statements that help the interviewer to avoid collusion and remain focused on the perpetrator’s behavioral choices and their connection to child safety and well being and the impact of the perpetrator’s behaviors on children. (David Mandel & Associates, 2012)
  • Menu of Expectations for Batterers in Child Protection Cases (PDF)
    This document is useful in safety planning and case planning with domestic violence perpetrators and achieving perpetrator accountability. It also gives examples of expectations from batterers, the purpose of the expectation, and the success of the expectation.  (Non-Violence Alliance, 2003)
  • Non-Violent Action Plan (English) / Spanish / Creole (PDF)
    (Also called Perpetrator Safety Plan) Adapted from Menu of Expectations for Batterers in Child Protection Cases and isutilized by many co-located domestic violence advocates in Florida. This tool can be used as a stand-alone safety plan for domestic violence perpetrators or as a tool for safety planning and case planning with domestic perpetrators. The Non-Violent Action Plan is available in English, Spanish, and Creole. (Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
  • Violence, Abuse and Controlling Behaviors Checklist (PDF)
    This checklist can be used when interviewing domestic violence perpetrators to engage them in a conversation about behaviors they have used to be violent, abusive, and controlling towards their partner. (Non-Violence Alliance, revised 1999)
  • Couples Counseling and DV (PDF)
    This document gives 12 reasons why couples counseling is not recommended when domestic violence is present. (Allies in Change Counseling Center, 1999)
  • Differences Between Anger Management and Batterer Intervention Programs (PDF)
    This document outlines the differences between Anger Management and Batterer Intervention Programs (BIP) and why Anger Management is not appropriate for batterers. (Allies in Change Counseling Center, 2000)
  • Nine Ways to Collude with Abusive Men (PDF)
    This list reflects some of the most common mistaken beliefs about abusers and their violence. (Non-Violence Alliance, 1999)
  • Examples of Actions Batterers Take to Harm Children (PDF)
    This handout can be used to inform child welfare safety plans and case plans and improve assessment related to the adverse impact of the perpetrator’s violence on children. (David Mandel & Associates, 2010)
  • Checklist to Promote Perpetrator Accountability (PDF)
    This publication was created to help dependency judges intervene with those who use violence in ways that promote accountability and maximize the safety and well-being of children and victim parents. It provides as framework to help the court leverage its authority to hold perpetrators accountable, provide appropriate services, and improve judicial decision-making. (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, 2011)
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