In 1986 David J.H.
Garvin MSW, LMSW, founded the Alternatives to Domestic Aggression (ADA)
Program in Toledo, Ohio. In 1987, ADA became concurrently located
with Catholic Social Services of
Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, Michigan. ADA was founded on the premise
that service providers must have absolute conceptual
clarity (Garvin, 2003) regarding the strategic and instrumental behavior
of men who batter their intimate partners. Utilizing that clarity, group
co-facilitators are well trained to address the batterers' behavior, which
is designed and tailored to effectively coercively control (Stark, 2007)
their intimate partners. The framework of group co-facilitators' approach
to intervention is the progressive deconstruction of the service participants'
entitlement to male privilege. By unapologetically, thoroughly, strategically,
logically, and consistently confronting the service participants' sense
of entitlement, the group co-facilitators are also encouraging and promoting
the service participants' process of establishing accountability for their
Within ADA, accountability is a personal journey and defined as: "Actions
toward or involving others that reflect the integrity of the person I want
to be." This parallel process of confrontation and encouragement takes
place over 52 sessions, in a four tiered group process [FN - The
ADA Programmatic model is one which can be utilized as a tiered model
or an integrated group model.] The four groups include: Discovery,
Foundations, Tactics, and Options. During the initial Discovery group service
participants answer the question, "Do
I have a reason to be in this program?" This exercise not only provides
a basis for subsequent program sections, it allows for and accommodates
the resistance that many service participants initially bring to ADA. Accountability
is a key theme throughout the entire program and is built on the understanding
of the “Bases
and Domains of Accountability”.
In Discovery, service participants have to effectively convince
the group that they have a reason to be in the program and, in doing so,
begin to expand the concept that their battering behavior is a pattern
rather than an isolated incident.
In Foundations, group participants focus on four key concepts:
the *Revised Power and Control Wheel, the ADA Choice Model, the ADA Accountability
Plan, and the SDR (Accountability
Workbook, (2003, 2006, 2009). Each Foundations intervention component
provides service participants with an expanded understanding of abuse and
some preliminary tools for accountably changing their behavior.
In Tactics, service participants explore and challenge societal
myths that reinforce their personal choice of battering tactic. They identify
their fundamental personal core belief which allows them to make abusive
choices. In this process service participants more concretely operationalize
the concept of personal accountability. It is in this portion of the program
that participants begin to process current interactions in their life and
how they are accountable or unaccountable (Bases and Domains of Accountability).
In Options, service participants focus on their daily choices
to live accountably in all of their interpersonal relationships. Participants
continue the process of challenging their core belief, expanding their
understanding of accountability and increasing tools to help them make
non abusive choices in the future. In addition to the groups,
ADA all service participants must complete 8 mentoring sessions.
The purpose of the mentoring sessions is to solidify concepts learned for
the mentor and to assist new participants with their resistance by hearing
from peers. ADA is designed so that every policy, assignment and interaction
is accountability focused and each section of the program builds on the
one before it.
The ADA Program has endeavored to bring together a Staff
with the most experience in the field of Batterer Intervention in the State
Click here for the ADA Program brochure
We hope you will benefit from thoroughly examining our website and
thank you for your interest!