Most of the published literature on DV interventions with men is from intervention programs run by social service organizations, individual therapists, or criminal justice agencies (Saunders, 2008). In very few cases, these programs are delivered by Latin@ community-based organizations. Few existing studies evaluate the effectiveness of programs for Latino men. Nevertheless, the literature base does offer important knowledge of various programs that have been utilized with Latino men, reviewed below.
- A qualitative study conducted in Michigan with 21 Latino immigrant men who participated in a culturally informed batterers’ intervention indicates that the Spanish version of the Duluth curriculum can be beneficial for Latino immigrant batterers. The results suggested an increase in the participants’ willingness to change and satisfaction with the intervention (Parra-Cardona, Escobar-Chew, Holtrop, Carpenter, Guzman, Hernandez, Zamudio, & Gonzalez-Ramirez, 2013).
- In another study conducted on the Duluth model in North Carolina, Hancock & Siu (2009) followed almost 100 Latino men for a period of two years. After a few months, the intervention facilitators found that the Duluth model was ineffective and decided to create a more culturally-sensitive model that would take into account the needs and aspirations of the men involved.
- Another study took place in Southern California with 159 Latino men who received a court order to attend a batterers’ intervention program (Welland, & Ribner, 2010, 802). Findings included the lack of clarity in the language used by the clinicians to work with the Spanish-speaking participants, which helped explain the high dropout rate after one year.
- Perilla & Perez (2002) published an article based on their work with Caminar Latino, a comprehensive DV program in Atlanta, which offers a culturally sensitive intervention for court-mandated Latino men. Anecdotal information gathered over twenty years from male participants and their partners has provided promising evidence for this approach with Latino men.
Commentary: The first two studies included in this section parallel in a small scale the state of research on batterers’ intervention, with contradicting results and confusion about the efficacy of programs. The last study also echoes another mainstream reality: a significant gap between what some researchers and practitioners think about the success of the interventions.
Whether a program is culturally informed or not (and the great majority are not), the truth is that most programs for men who batter are grossly underfunded. As our colleague Dr. Etiony Aldarondo has pointed out: “It is almost hypocritical to expect positive results from a field that receives practically no funding from public or private sources.”