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Informed by the literature on risk factors for IPV maintenance, drawing from the broader psychopathology and psychotherapy literatures, and guided by third wave behavior therapy models, Dr. Lawrence and her students developed a new conceptual model identifying novel processes that underlie the propensity for violent perpetrators to continue engaging in IPV, applied that model to a novel intervention, and then tested the efficacy and effectiveness of that new intervention. They completed a statewide randomized controlled trial with 815 men in Iowa. This was the first study to incorporate a novel IPV intervention into a state court-mandated Batterers Education Program. The new intervention was implemented statewide and other states have started to offer it. As a result of their efforts, Iowa became the first state in the country to mandate a statewide, empirically supported intervention for offenders.

This work has been funded by NIMH, the CDC and the DOJ, as well as several state agencies. At The Family Institute, they are continuing this research, testing the active mechanisms of change, replicating their RCT findings and implementing this program in several other states in the U.S. and in Bogota, Colombia. They have also adapted this intervention and treatment manual for adolescent boys residing in juvenile detention as well as for college students found responsible for sexual misconduct. Both adapted interventions are being implemented and tested in multiple states. The Family Institute will be at the forefront of this national, empirically supported effort to significantly and dramatically reduce intimate partner violence and sexual misconduct.

Principal Investigator: Erika Lawrence, Ph.D.

Erika Lawrence, Ph.D.