‘Nobody will deal with violent couples, only men’

I recently attended the excellent Los Angeles domestic violence conference “From Ideology to Inclusion 2009: New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention.” The conference featured many domestic violence dissidents–researchers and clinicians who do not believe that the mainstream domestic violence establishment and its “men as perpetrators/women as victims” conceptual framework is properly serving those involved in family violence.
Sandra Stith, Ph.D. does couples counseling for couples who have experienced domestic violence. She says there’s a “partner gap” in domestic violence treatment, because “nobody will deal with violent couples, only men.” She quotes a female client of hers who tried to get couples counseling for her and her husband. The woman explained:

There isn’t hardly anyone that would take a violent couple…I’ve called and you just get “if he needs counseling called this number”… not even churches. There’s nobody that wants to deal with violent couples. All they want to say is “well how soon do you want a divorce?” Well, I’d really like to try to work it out first.

To read all reports from the Conference, please click here. From Ideology to Inclusion 2009 featured some of the world’s leading experts on domestic violence, many of whom serve on the Editorial Board of the new peer-reviewed academic journal, Partner Abuse, published by Springer Publishing Company. The conference was presented by the California Alliance for Families & Children and co-sponsored by The Family Violence Treatment & Education Association. Some of you may remember that I also wrote extensively about the 2008 conference–to learn more, click here.

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