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Essay on Domestic Violence: Ellen Pence

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University of California, Santa Barbara
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It was quite clear that the people who had the power to stop domestic violence were unconcerned with the topic and paid little or no attention to the people who were victims of such. There were numerous cases of domestic violence against women and children with the most common type of violence being sexual abuse and physical abuse towards women. On viewing these issues, Ellen Pence, an American scholar, and social activist started her fight against domestic violence through questioning the accountability of the state and other people of power including judges, politicians, police officer, and prosecutors. She worked for over thirty years to fight domestic violence against children and women. Ellen founded many projects including the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. She receives numerous awards for her significant contribution to stopping domestic abuse against women and children. Ellen Louise was instrumental in changing the policies of domestic violence and institutional change work.

Ellen Pence

Ellen was born in Minnesota and attended school in St. Scholastica in Duluth with B.A in arts. She started institution change work for battered women and helped in the formation of Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. She is also credited with the establishment of the Duluth model that is being used in all 50 states in the United States. She also formed the coordinated community response that integrates the actions of the police, courts, probation officer and human service providers to end domestic abuse. The goal of all her projects is to stop domestic violence and protect the victims from further harm from their abuser. With her knowledge, she developed and organized community groups that helped her analyze the problems faced by abuse victims and develop interventions.

Duluth model

One of the most significant accomplishments of Ellen Pence was the development of the Duluth model. Together with Michael Paymar, she developed a program to help reduce domestic violence against children and women. It was also called Domestic Abuse Intervention Project and named after Duluth, the city in Minnesota where it was developed. The United States has been able to incorporate this program in all its states as of 2006. It is seen as the most crucial intervention program for domestic violence in the United States.

In 1981 Michael and Ellen incorporated the help of activist against battered women, designed a multidisciplinary program to address domestic violence. This program used four men, and battered women as the subject. This led to the development of a program that helps to seek justice for individuals that have been victims of domestic violence. The design is based on the theory that to be able to exercise control and power in relationships; men use violence. Women are disadvantaged due to their inferior status in the society, socially, politically and economically. The projects aimed at not only helping the battered women get help but also educate batterers to change their behaviors and attitudes toward women and children as they assumed that abusive nature of men is an individual pathology, not an ingrained social entitlement reinforcement (Bowen, 2011).

The effectiveness of this program has been a source of research for many years. A study in 2002 by the federal government found that the program was effective in that men who had undergone the program to the end were less likely to repeat the action. In 2003, there was an apparent de-escalation of re-assault and 80% of men that were in the program being non-violent after the program (Sullivan, 2006).

In 2005, Professor Larry Bennett researched the program in Chicago. The result of the study showed that Cook County has 30 battered intervention programs and only 15% of those who completed the program were rearrested for domestic violence. Of those that didnt finish the program, only 37% were rearrested. His conclusion from the study was that those who underwent the program were less inclined to repeat the offense as they were not motivated. This is because the program taught them the real worth of women and children in the society (Gondolf, 2010).

A study on the battered intervention program (BIP) effectiveness states that there is no evidence that the program is more effective compared to other intervention methods. The research concluded that the effectiveness of the program is zero unless some rigorous reviews are done on it. It is just like the other programs in that it helps the batterer but its success rate is not higher. It is the same. The program doesnt consider numerous facts while setting up the training (Gondolf, 2010).

This program has undergone significant criticism. It is seen as ignoring numerous facts. The program has ignored the minority groups and the impact it has on the social welfare of both women and men. It has also ignored the link that has been seen between substance abuse and domestic violence (Mcmahon & Pence, 2015). It fails to include other factors that might lead to mistreatment including previous experience of domestic violence of the batterer while they were children, substance abuse, psychological problems and attachment disorder. The program doesnt take into account the social history of the batterer which is quite essential. Understanding the cause of abuse is the first step towards preventing the recurrence of violence.

The program is also seen as being more confrontational front rather than therapeutic. This is seen in that they do not consider the underlying psychological and emotional issues of the abuser but rather pay close to their attention to the attitude and actions. The program also fails to include the minority groups. Their inclusion is quite important as research states that there is domestic violence in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual battering. In such relationships patriarchy is not present and hence there is no issue of male dominance and in heterosexual relationships. There is more female to female abuse than male to male abuse. This states that women are mostly the perpetrators of violence (Sullivan, 2006).

The model though has proponents that support its success and its use of resources that are scarce. According to Ellen, she states that though most men in her studies denied their desire to articulate power over their partners, with more questions they prove that this is just a secret desire that they reject in reality.

The Duluth model takes the blame away from the victim, and the abuser is held accountable for the offense. It also encourages the formation of policies and procedures that ensure that offenders are responsible for their crime. The criminal and civil systems are also held accountable to ensure that the victim remains safe and that the offender is punished accordingly. The program is vital in that it protects the victim and gives them the courage to report cases of violence to the police. The system is also held accountable in that they are expected to do their duties from the police to the courts (Mcmahon & Pence, 2015).

The Duluth model is based on the fact that men use violence as a way of controlling and dominating the weaker sex, women, and children. With this theory, the model tries to change the views of the society that support the actions of men and make them feel more superior and give them the power to control women through their action. It aims at ensuring that all gender has equal rights and that they all know that. It teaches men that they are not superior to women and hence do not need to exert their power through violence and it teaches women that they are stronger than they view themselves and hence should condone violence against themselves and their children.

The program also pays close attention to the formation of policies and procedures to ensure the safety of the women who have been battered and that the offenders are held accountable for their actions. Through this program, women who have been victims are used to help in the formation of these policies and procedures. It also creates a chance for conversation between the community, people in power like the court and criminal justice system and the victims discussing the issue of domestic violence and possible solutions that will ensure that the community is aware of the potential responses that are available for the victims.

Coordinated Community Response

The Duluth model approach has had huge successes as seen in the research that has been done on the program. It is important for this program to be included in all communities as it ensures the safety of victims. It also ensures that there are reduced cases of repeated offense through special programs that are instigated by the court system. The Duluth model is complemented by the coordinated community response that was also formed by Ellen (Robinson & Payton, 2016).

The coordinated community response is a set of policies and procedures that are developed through the collaborative work of all the stakeholders of domestic violence offenses. It has included the input of police, probation officer, human service providers and the courts. The community members are also included in this process of forming procedures and policies that ensure the safety of the victims and that the barterers are held accountable for their action. This program also has created the formation of an independent entity, not the courts or the police, that monitor the cases and tracked both the victims and the offenders and ensures that the laws are upheld, and the victims are safe.

The CCr also ensures that there is a safe environment for dialogue between the different parties. This allows for the formation of solutions for the systematic problems and other social problems that lead to domestic violence. These solutions are mainly based on the output of the victims and advocates. The program allows the formation of support systems for both the victims and the offenders. The offenders are taken through training, based on the Duluth model for rehabilitation.

Ellen concentrated on creating a system that allows the behavior of victims and offenders to be under scrutiny and hence create the appropriate responses. She concentrated on analyzing the two genders and how they relate to each other. Though her work has been under critics, as it lacks the basic research needed for personal agendas, it has been included in many programs that help victims and help offenders not repeat offenses. The Duluth model and the coordinated community response have been successful (Gondolf, 2010).

Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the former vice-president and senator in the United States have also been a big advocator against domestic violence. In the past, men were allowed to harm their wives as this was seen as a family affair. There were numerous cases of rape and battery between husbands and wives. Rape was considered a lesser crime as women were voluntary companions. There were many states that held to the law that if a woman was killed after leaving their wife, it was not a crime as they had provoked it (Djopkang, 2016).

It is due to this that in 1990, Joe Bides introduced the Violence Against Women Act that was aimed at changing the culture of domestic violence in the community through reducing the rate of ignorance and reduced the stereotypes that were ingrained in the community (Jeltsen, 2015). He included the testimony of psychologists and other medical professionals that gave information on the long-term effect of violence. Numerous children that saw their mothers being victims of domestic violence or were victims themselves grow up to be violent or condone violence in their homes.

Through this Act, Biden advocated for increased funding for women protection centers and shelters for victims. This was to protect the vi...

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