I was very sad to hear that another domestic violence program that was trying to start an intervention that involved both survivors and offenders lost funding. Integrated approach is, in my opinion, the only way that we will ever really make a dent in the goal of decreasing violence.
The way that the domestic violence movement treats those involved is gravely flawed. Current practice is that survivors and offenders should be treated separately… and unfortunately, funders seem to follow. Grantors and government programs will fund survivor groups and offender groups — but not the work that involves both of them. Programs that do victim impact panels (a process that was born out of the DVSD program where a panel of survivors answer questions and talk with batterer groups) must have this as the “free add on” because there is no money for this sort of work. Tragic.
Luckily, DVSD has survived as a non-profit since 2006 and has completed over 100 dialogues. I can only imagine what we will do when the funding tide turns. In thinking about the current climate, DVSD is focusing in two distinct areas. Education and Application of the DVSD program. We are going to hold 4 trainings this year for facilitators. We have interest from people across the country who want to start DVSD in their area.
Matt is working hard on creating a streamlined process for the dialogue program here that will be easily replicated in other places. Very official and exciting and exhausting…
All in all things are moving fast with DVSD. Integrated intervention is so important. You can’t treat just one side (the survivor or the offender) and expect to create change in a two party relationship. I just home that the domestic violence movement… well… moves.