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Should domestic abusers get treatment instead of punishment?

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Domestic Violence |

Domestic violence has deep roots for some people in Michigan that go well beyond a simple heated argument between intimate partners. According to an article published in Psychiatric Times, several risk factors have been identified that correlate with persons accused of intimate partner violence making alternative treatment measures more effective than traditional treatment measures.

What risk factors correlate to acts of intimate partner violence?

One risk factor that may be behind acts of intimate partner violence is whether the accused may have been physically abused or witnessed abuse in their childhood. Other times, the accused may have a history of suffering from conduct disorder as an adolescent or may have antisocial personality traits. For persons who are veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder is a substantial risk factor that could be behind acts of intimate partner violence. Other mental health disorders, such as depression, dysthymia, anxiety, alcohol use disorder, adult antisocial behavior and psychosis also correlate with the risk of intimate partner violence.

Why might treatment help more than punitive measures?

In addition to traditional treatment programs, persons accused of intimate partner violence may be under a court order to attend, there is some promise for alternative interventions such as medication, comprehensive mental health case management, integrated treatment for alcohol and drug use disorder, trauma-informed therapies and other measures that focus on motivating people to change.

For example, an integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy program for alcohol and drug use disorder along with intimate partner violence showed to have significant short-term benefits in reducing violence. Researchers note that such programs may be more economical than other measures when it comes to addressing intimate partner violence. Group approaches that assist the accused through the stages of intentional behavior change have also been found to lead to increased treatment adherence.

Providing persons accused of domestic violence with the help they need

As this shows, there are measures that can be taken that help people charged with intimate partner violence more than more punitive measures. This makes sense if you consider that the roots of such allegations often go deeper than a mere argument. When treatment addresses the root cause of domestic violence, it may lead to more positive long-term behaviors than simply throwing the book at those who commit acts of domestic violence in Michigan.

If you or someone you care about has been accused of domestic violence, call the Law Office of John Freeman today.  We can help.