Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Video: Group Intervention: Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Abuse

“Group” follows three convicted abusers as they confront the attitudes and beliefs that led to their violence, with the help of a compassionate group therapy facilitator. This video won the Vimeo Staff Pick Award at the New Orleans Film Festival 2018.

In California, men on probation for domestic violence offences are required to complete the 52-week Batterers’ Intervention Program, aimed at teaching them strategies for managing anger and breaking cycles of abuse. The programs vary widely in quality, and frequently suffer from high dropout rates and other accountability issues. However, two in three of the men who complete a program do not reoffend. Group offers a bracing glimpse inside one such program led by a skilled therapist named Dave, whose dedication to his job resonates throughout his compassionate yet firm interactions with the men in his class. The film offers cause for both frustration and hope, as Dave’s challenges to deeply entrenched attitudes towards masculinity and violence are met with a combination of resistance, recognition and understanding.

Directors: Jack Mullinkosson, Haley Saunders, Meghan Wells, Claire Cai, Ben Allen

Text: Aeon

Running time: 15:08

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

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