Domestic Violence Training Conducted
Friend to Friend, with help from Moore County District Attorney Maureen Krueger, brought together law enforcement officers, advocates, counselors and educators from across the state this week to Carthage for a two-day training session in domestic violence.
They took part in a workshop led by Graham Barnes, an advocate specializing in the “Duluth Model” for domestic violence intervention.
“It takes its name from Duluth, Minnesota, a small community that has been a trailblazer for effective, coordinated, and thoughtful domestic violence and sexual assault intervention,” said Anne Friesen, director of Friend to Friend. “The ‘Duluth Model’ emphasizes the importance of taking blame away from the victim and placing accountability onto the perpetrator.”
What Duluth did was to block gaps and loopholes in every step of its civil justice system, according to Friesen.
“It advocates for a seamless ‘coordinated community response’ from 911 operators to the courthouses to ensure that batterers be held responsible and victims be kept safe,” she said. “It further stresses the necessity of available, valuable, and considered counseling and therapy groups for both the victim and the batterer in order to stop cyclical patterns of abuse both at home and in the community at large.”
Friesen said Krueger stressed the necessity of establishing a similar strong coordinated community response to combat domestic violence and sexual assault in Moore County and beyond.
Barnes is best known for his previous role as team leader of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project’s national training program in Duluth, Minn. Since 2005, he has been a resource specialist with the Battered Women’s Justice Project in Minneapolis. Today, he travels across the country sharing his 20 years of experience in community organizing and domestic violence prevention.
The idea is to create interventions than not only work to end domestic violence, but also to help those who batter change.
According to the organization that grew out of Duluth’s experience, a community using its approach has:
Taken the blame off the victim and placed the accountability for abuse on the offender.
Shared policies and procedures for holding offenders accountable and keeping victims safe across all agencies in the criminal and civil justice systems from 911 to the courts.
Believes that battering is a pattern of actions used to intentionally control or dominate an intimate partner and actively works to change societal conditions that support men’s use of tactics of power and control over women.
Offers change opportunities for offenders through court-ordered educational groups for batterers.
Provides ongoing discussions between criminal and civil justice agencies, community members and victims to close gaps and improve the community’s response to battering.
The sessions focused on teaching ways to create processes of change for batterers, and for men’s nonviolence group facilitators. Duluth’s approach is grounded in the view that it is in the best interest of every community to hold batterers accountable in the criminal justice system as well as to provide support groups for their victims.
Training included ways to keep women safe after separation from the offender.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or email@example.com.
More like this story