Current Issues in Assessment

In doing program evaluation research it is essential to have more than one source of information about the abuser's behavior. Thus, multimethod studies that include police reports and arrest records, reports from the abusers and the women they assault, as well documentation of injuries from hospitals and doctors, are preferred. In addition, studies that have an extended posttreatment evaluation are more convincing as they give more evidence that the intervention has had a lasting effect. For example, some of the early outcome studies relied on only a 6-month period to test whether the batterer had changed his pattern of behavior. Some studies relied on the batterer's report of the amount of his violence. More recent studies have followed batterers for 2 to 4 years and beyond and have relied on reports from several sources. Finally, assessment of a range of batterer behaviors should be included in efforts to decide whether or not change has occurred. Studies can go beyond documenting rearrest (which essentially counts only about one-tenth of physical assaults), to include incidents of stalking, harassment, violating protection orders, as well as rates of psychological maltreatment of the woman.

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