Working with violent men: from resistance to change talk in Probation Domestic Abuse Programmes

Hughes, William John (2024) Working with violent men: from resistance to change talk in Probation Domestic Abuse Programmes. Routledge studies in criminal behaviour . Routledge, Abingdon. ISBN 9781032151663


Working with Violent Men gives a detailed insight into working with men who have been violent towards intimate partners. As such this monograph aims to contribute to a gap in knowledge and understanding within an important social and criminal justice topic.

The book is underpinned by research based on participant observation at domestic abuse groups, allowing for direct observation of behaviours and interactions, including gestures and emotional responses, as well as semi-structured interviews with group facilitators and participants. It also draws on the author’s experience of working with domestically abusive men, as a probation officer and facilitator of domestic abuse programmes. He argues that groups involve a micro social order, involving rules and rituals. These are continuously constructed and negotiated by participants, against a backdrop of ideas about masculinity, and involve the performance of gendered roles. Understanding the perspectives of these men, as well the interactional rules, rituals, and dynamics of programmes, enables facilitators to navigate the hostility that men display and engage them in a process of change. Attention to these considerations has implications for the effectiveness of group-based interventions in reducing violence against intimate partners and the training of those who deliver programmes. More general extrapolations are also drawn, about contemporary understandings of gender, masculinity, identity, and effective communication within groups.

This book will be of value to undergraduate and postgraduate students with interests in domestic violence, gender, probation, and the rituals of social interactions. It will also be useful to academics, researchers, and policymakers wishing to explore and develop approaches to work with domestically violent men.

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