Evaluating behaviour change programs for men who use domestic and family violence: Key findings and future directions
This is an edited summary of key findings from the ANROWS research project Development of a best practice guide to perpetrator program evaluation.
This project developed a guide for evaluating behaviour change programs for men who use domestic and family violence.
- Men’s behaviour change programs (MBCPs) are increasingly included in policy as an essential component of any long-term strategy to reduce violence against women.
- Determining the extent to which these programs are effective requires high-quality evaluations. However, these have generally been lacking due to limited capacity and evaluation expertise among men’s behaviour change program staff, and limited resourcing for the commissioning of independent evaluations.
- This research project developed an evaluation guide to assist MBCP providers in planning high-quality evaluations.
- Standards for MBCPs across Australia emphasise the need to focus on women’s and children’s safety as the primary outcome of programs. However, measuring women’s and children’s safety has generally not been prioritised in program evaluation.
- Measures commonly used to assess men’s change are problematic.
- A number of validated tools exist that could be used to evaluate men’s change as well as women’s and children’s safety.
- Outcomes measured should include women’s and children’s safety and wellbeing, and men’s long-term behaviour change.
- Evaluators should be aware of a range of practical and ethical considerations relating to domestic and family violence before undertaking evaluation activities.
- Program providers should be supported to conduct periodic process evaluations; when programs are evaluation-ready, sufficient resourcing to conduct high-quality outcome evaluations is required.
ANROWS Research to policy and practice papers are concise papers that summarise key findings of research on violence against women and their children, including research produced under ANROWS’s research program, and provide advice on the implications for policy and practice.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Evaluating behaviour change programs for men who use domestic and family violence (Research to policy and practice, 17/2020). Sydney: ANROWS.