Our philosophy is that..
- Violence is intentional.
- Battering is a system of abusive behaviours that are used to maintain control.
- Most cultures have supported male dominance in families.
- Individual men can change.
- Except in cases of self-defence, there are always alternatives to violence.
- Participants need to take full responsibility for their behaviour.
- Facilitators will challenge sexist’s beliefs and attitudes.
- Groups will support men to change controlling and violent behaviour.
- Facilitators will challenge minimization, denial and blame.
- The group process should be compassionate but not colluding.
- Facilitators will teach men to develop relationship with women based on equality.
Contract with offenders who have been court mandated to attend
- Participants must follow all conditions of probation and orders from the court.
- Acts of violence and violation of court orders will be reported to the court.
- Participants must sign release-of-information and program contract agreement.
- Participants will come to group free of the influence of alcohol and drugs.
- Participants will not use racist or sexist language.
Consequences for breach of contract
- Non-compliance with the terms of the contract will result in supervision, and the participant will be reported to the court.
- Volunteers will not be treated differently than the court-mandated offenders.
- Program staff may testify at revocation or review hearings regarding violations of a contract.
Assessment of lethality
- Program stuff will explore all past and present threats.
- Threats of homicide or suicide will be thoroughly examined.
- The victim/shelter will be warned if the offender appears to be reacting to a protection. Order or divorce in a dangerous way.
- Program staff will discuss red-flag cases with facilitators and advocates.
Evaluation of programs
- Battered women’s programs should be involved in designing evaluation tools. We are currently working with POWA to ensure the safety of victims and put them in a program that helps them overcome the negative effects they experienced during their abuse and empower them.
- Before asking a partner of a participant to assess progress, the program will be certain of her safety. We strongly urge all participants not to interfere with this process as it will be an act of breach of contract.
- Evaluation should focus on safety to battered women, accountability and changes the offender is making. These is one of our primary goal to ensure the safety of women and children, before, during and after the offender is in the program.
- All practices and policies should be periodically evaluated. We intend to have a solid relationship with the police department and form a partnership whereby cases of domestic violence are not taken for granted.
Accountability to the community
- Programs should work in concert with battered women’s program to reform the practices of the justice system, law enforcement, and other interveners.
- Policies and procedures should be reviewed by communities of colour, neighbourhood organizations, gay and lesbian groups and other stakeholders.
- Programs should speak out and work with organizations working to reduce violence, bias and racism.