3.1.11 Training modules

Below described training modules are based on “The Duluth Model” by Ellen Pence and Michael Paymar 1993. The concept has been modified by Dr. Constance Ohms due to needs of lesbian women in 2006/7.

Common methods used in behavioural trainings are:

  • diary
  • control log
  • group discussion
  • role plays
  • media, e.g. videos
  • short lectures
  • group exercises

The trainer should limit the check-in of each session to the presentation of the diary/actions taken to change violent behaviour. Further, there should be space to discuss actual behaviour or an actual problem in the group. Check-in and actual problem should not exceed 30 minutes.

The modules cover 45h. Training can be extended due to specific emphasis. It should not be a reaction on group dynamic, the schedule should be clear beforehand.





2,5 hrs/



(individual or in group)

Within the introducing interview following aspects have to be analysed:
pattern and severity of violence toward the partner (current & past); level of openness and honesty about use of violence;

History of substance abuse;

Mental health problems

Self-destructive behaviour

Accessibility to group: language spoken, literacy.

Create safety

Focussed interview;

Methods of risk assessment;

Medical reports

Individual intake or group intake: it seems as in group intake violent persons are less defensive (less victim blaming etc.)

Interview can be done in group as well.

Commitment to training (contract)

Anonymity of place etc.

5 hours/ 2 weeks

Promoting group intake process.

Establishing group context.

Short term measure to provide victim’s safety: emergency case


Establishing group process.

Development of motivation.

Presentation of themes of training:

  • Definition of violence and abuse;
  • Violence related themes: power, domination, control;
  • Conflict solution; escalation of conflicts; difference between conflict and violence; myths about violence.
  • Impact of violence on the victim;
  • Ideas/wishes/expectations about partnership;
  • Lesbian partnerships: impact of minority stress on lesbian partnerships; family of origin, children, workplace;
  • Sensibilization for heterosexual norms and their impact on lesbian lives;
  • Impact of hierarchal structures of society on lesbian couples;
  • Nonviolence and non-threatening behaviour;
  • How to live a positive partnership: respect, fairness, negotiation, support and trust;
  • Accountability and Honesty.

Introduction of emergency case: short term tool to stop violence

Definition of power, domination, control and violence.

Each participant introduces herself and gives brief explanation of why she takes part at the program.

Her aim of participation.

Explanation of group rules, e.g. commitment to collaboration, no drugs, no interruptions while s.o. is speaking.

Introduction and distribution of “diary” (weekly action plan):

  • changes made
  • steps done to change
  • obstacles of changes
  • positive self-reflection of change

Introduction and distribution of  “control log”:

  • actions
  • intents and beliefs
  • feelings
  • pattern of defending own behaviour (denial, minimization, blame)
  • effects on you/your partner/others
  • past violence
  • non-violent behaviour

An “emergency case” contains strategies to stop immediately violent acts:

  • if shared home: do not go home; stay at a friend; sent partner short message you are not coming home tonight.
  • Call a friend.
  • Self-help telephone chain (with other participants of group)
  • Use of positive “anchor”
  • use of breathing techniques.

Development of “sentence of the day”, like “I will stop my violent behaviour”.

Group discussion.

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European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

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