December 09, 2016

December Meeting Minutes

• Announcements
• Introductions
• Speaker: Greg White, the Director of the Catholic Charities Domestic Violence Program For Men, a member of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team of NYS, Co-Director of the National Institute of Batterer Programs
    o Batterer programs came out of the battered women’s programs and movement in the early 1970s
          The programs were initially 1 time per week for 4 weeks and the goal was the get the man to stop battering and to make women and children safe
          Studies were starting to show that the anger management lens was not helpful and they were learning from women’s experiences who lived with the batterer in the program that their lives were miserable because they were being blamed for the batterer having to take the program in the first place
         Anger management was at the root of most of the early batterer programs up until the early 1990s when there was as shift in thought from the man can’t control his anger to he can control his anger because he only abuses his wife or partner and not others. The movement was to understanding power and control
         The power and control wheel was used by advocates from Deluth, MN and they started bringing multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) together to prioritize victim safety and offender accountability in the criminal justice system
        Haven House had asked Catholic Charities to start a batterer program for mandated people around 1988
        Everything that batterer program does is run past women’s advocates and knowledge about battered women’s experience has allowed the program to evolve
         The role for the Catholic Charities batterer program became offender accountability because the mandating source (usually the court) can impose a sanction on the batterer if they are noncompliant
          The Catholic Charities staff views the mandating source to be their client
          The classes are either 26 weeks or 52 weeks with one class per week for an hour and a half and the batterers are taught about everything pertaining to domestic violence
          They do not take voluntary participants because they found some participants to be exploiting and manipulating that option
          The program does cost money. The batterers have to pay a fee before starting every class. The registration fee is $15 and each class is $15 but there is a sliding scale that a financial assessment is conducted to determine if that is appropriate for the batterer. No one can attend for free
          How is the Catholic Charities batterer program different today compared to the 1990s? The program has evolved from treatment of the batterers to accountability because fixing men is not seen as the need. Some programs are still treatment based however. Social change is viewed at the ultimate goal to ending domestic violence
         Greg sends a letter and referral form to courts in the 8th Judicial District 3-4 times per year
         The Catholic Charities batterer program serves about 500 men per year
         The program feels they are missing out on referrals so they are making a big push to have the courts use their   referral forms. Referrals now are half of what they were 6 years ago and there are less batterer programs
   o Announcements: The Alzheimer’s Association is looking for individuals with the beginning stage of dementia to join their educational group. Contact the WNY Alzheimer’s Association for more information
   o Next meeting will be January 3, 2017