A letter to the editor of The New York Times from the desk of John Gottman, Ph.D. and Julie Schwartz Gottman, Ph.D.

To the Editor:

On March 2, 2019, Lauren Justice wrote about home violence, citing that the Michael Paymar Duluth Curriculum for the remedy of home violence is 90% efficient. Ms. Justice’s information about home violence sadly seems restricted to her private expertise and lacks scholarly evaluation.

A meta-analysis of the Duluth remedy mannequin carried out by Dr. Julia Babcock confirmed that its impact measurement is definitely negligible: no more practical than one arrest. Yet it’s nonetheless used nationwide, which can clarify why home violence continues unabated.

Our 9 years of analysis and that of others has confirmed that there are two varieties of home violence: situational and characterological. Situational home violence arises from arguments spinning out of management. Both companions are typically mildly violent, utilizing slaps or shoves to emphasize their factors. Both really feel responsible and wish to change. Eighty p.c of U.S. home violence is situational.

We carried out a randomized managed study during which small teams of {couples} met weekly for twenty weeks to study pre-tested battle administration abilities, biofeedback strategies for self-soothing, and strategies to deepen friendship and intimacy. This program eradicated situational home violence and hostility and elevated calm battle administration, even at 18-month follow-up. Sandra Stith and Eric McCollum additionally developed a {couples} program that succeeded in eliminating situational home violence.   

Characterological home violence presents a special story. One companion is a perpetrator; the different, a sufferer. The perpetrator takes no duty for the violence and as an alternative blames the sufferer for inflicting it. There’s nothing the sufferer can do to cease the violence, which frequently causes her main accidents and even dying. Victims are principally feminine.

Our analysis revealed two varieties of characterological perpetrators: “Pitbulls” and “Cobras.” Pitbulls worry abandonment. They are jealous, possessive, domineering and infrequently isolate their companions. Cobras could also be psychopaths. They are belligerent, unpredictably explosive, and strike out of nowhere. No one has discovered a remedy that stops characterological DV. To escape doubtlessly dire penalties, the sufferer must separate from the perpetrator and search security elsewhere. Twenty p.c of home violence is characterological. The victims of this type of DV now fill our shelters.

We counsel that Ms. Justice fastidiously evaluation related analysis literature earlier than drawing conclusions about what does and doesn’t work to deal with this main drawback plaguing our households as we speak.   

More in Research & Methods

A Review of the Research on Domestic Violence


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