New York State Changes Focus of Batterer Programs
Monday, April 21, 2008 8:44 AM

Domestic violence stems from patriarchy-sanctioned oppression of women common throughout the world.  Batterer programs in New York State are beginning to address perpetrator behavior by educating men about this history.  Courts can send offenders with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions to one of these programs, known collectively as the "New York model."  The men must attend once a week for six months to a year.  If they do not attend regularly and follow the rules of the program, such as full payment and respectful behavior, they can be sent back to court and may receive jail time.

The goal of the program is not that the men change their behavior. Studies have shown that men who participate in court-ordered programs are as likely as other men to re-offend.  These batterer programs are simply another way to hold men accountable for their behavior.  

However, judges in New York do not always impose sanctions when offenders violate the conditions of the program, despite the presence of a court liaison who informs court officials of the violations.  

Compiled from: N.Y. Pioneers Tougher Approach to Batterers, Womens ENews, Francesca Levy, 8 April 2008.