The impact of domestic violence perpetrator programmes on victim and criminal justice outcomes:  A systematic review of reviews of research evidence


Systematic reviews draw together all of the available evidence in a particular area. Where a number of systematic reviews already exist relating to a similar topic, it is possible to synthesis the findings contained in those systematic reviews in what is known as a 'review of reviews'.

A systematic map of criminal justice interventions for domestic violence identified that a number of systematic reviews have already been published in relation to programmes aimed at perpetrators of domestic violence. It wasn't necessary therefore, to carry out a new systematic review in this area so instead, the evidence contained within these existing systematic reviews was examined and synthesised in a review of reviews.

The review of reviews found that the evidence relating to domestic violence perpetrator programmes was inconclusive in terms of whether they were effective or not. There was evidence however, to suggest that programmes that paid attention to a person's readiness and motivation to change had some positive effects.

In order to look more closely at what impact motivation enhancing techniques really had on domestic violence perpetrators, an in-depth review of primary studies on motivational enhancement was carried out. The results showed that motivation enhancing interventions, used as adjuncts to perpetrator programmes helped to reduce domestic violence recidivism.

This review of reviews and systematic review was undertaken by UCL- Institute of Education, Evidence for Public Policy and Practice Information Coordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) Department of Security and Crime Science as part of the Commissioned Partnership Programme.  They are the fourth and fifth in a series of reviews.