Determining Batterer Intervention Program Treatment Intensities: An Illustration Using the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment

July 1, 2019 | By Dr. Dana L. Radatz and Dr. N. Zoe Hilton

Journal of Partner Abuse

To incorporate evidence-based practices into batterer intervention programs (BIPs), some intimate partner violence (IPV) researchers have begun to explore the integration of the principles of effective intervention (PEI) into BIPs. The PEI risk principle states that programs should assess offenders’ risk for recidivism, and then match offenders’ risk levels to the intensity of treatment and other interventions. Therefore, this study demonstrates how BIPs can use the Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment (ODARA) to guide treatment intensity decisions for IPV offenders. Using data from men with criminal charges for IPV incidents in the original ODARA construction and validation research (N = 970), researchers illustrate how low, medium, and high categories can be created and used to inform BIP treatment intensity decisions (as outlined by the risk principle). Results indicate the ODARA can be used to inform a three-tiered categorical system for BIPs, in accordance with the risk principle of the PEI. Study
results provide an avenue for BIP service providers to consider when determining treatment intensity for its IPV offenders. Suggestions for future research are also provided.

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