DV Conference Report #10: The Duluth Domestic Violence Power & Control Wheel

Sacramento, CA–Background: The historic, one-of-a-kind conference “From Ideology to Inclusion: Evidence-Based Policy and Intervention in Domestic Violence” was held in Sacramento, California February 15-16 and was a major success. The conference was sponsored by the California Alliance for Families and Children and featured leading domestic violence authorities from around the world.

Many of these researchers are part of the National Family Violence Legislative Resource Center, which is challenging the domestic violence establishment’s stranglehold on the issue. The NFVLRC promotes gender-natural, research-based DV policies.

I have been and will continue to detail the conference and some of the research that was presented there in this blog–to learn more, click here.

One of the presenters at the conference was Claudia Ann Dias, MSC, JD, who provides education and training in the fields of substance abuse, family violence, cultural awareness, sexual harassment and communications skills to both public and private sectors. She has been featured on 20/20 and Oprah for her work with male and female family violence perpetrators.

Photo by Kevin Graft For many years the feminist “Duluth’ model has been the dominant paradigm within the domestic violence establishment and in domestic violence treatment. According to John Hamel, LCSW, a court-certified batterer treatment provider and author of the book Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, “In the Duluth theoretical framework, domestic violence is caused by a patriarchal society that sanctions violence by men against their female partners. Women are assumed to be either victims or, when they are found to aggress against their male partners, to be doing so in self-defense.”

Claudia Dias (pictured, photo by Kevin Graft) explained that it is mandated, apparently by the state of California, that she have the Duluth Domestic Violence Power & Control Wheel (pictured above) prominently displayed in the office or center where she provides batterers’ treatment classes. Dias is a critic of the Duluth model. She says that she gets around this problem in the following manner: she prominently displays the Duluth Domestic Violence Power & Control Wheel with one minor modification — she has a circle and a line going through it.

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