Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Barbara Benoliel

Abstract

Domestic violence impacts millions of Americans annually and, in spite of the use of rehabilitative programs, recidivism in domestic violence continues to be more likely than in any other offense. To date, batterer intervention programs (BIPs) have not proven to be consistently impactful in reducing recidivism in cases of domestic violence. The purpose of this quasi-experimental, quantitative study was to examine differences in recidivism for first-time male domestic violence offenders who have participated in a BIP and a more recently developed alternative: victim-offender mediation (VOM). The theories of restorative justice and reintegrative shaming frame this study to determine if offenders take accountability for their actions and face the victim in mediation, there can be a reduction in recidivism. Archival data from records of first-time male, domestic violence offenders, between the ages of 18 and 30, who participated in either a VOM or BIP in a county in the Midwest were examined for recidivism 24-months postintervention, and analyzed with an ANCOVA analysis while controlling for age. The findings revealed no significant difference in recidivism for first-time male offenders 24-months post participation in a BIP or a VOM intervention while controlling for age F (1,109) =.081, p = .777. The findings provide support for the notion that restorative justice interventions may be an additional intervention used in cases of domestic violence deemed appropriate for the intervention. The findings from this study can add to the body of research examining interventions to address the high recidivism in cases of domestic violence, which impacts victims, offenders, and communities.