Community accountability for abusers as a complement or alternative to the criminal legal system is an area of great promise as well as challenge. Accountability strategies could be contained within community-based organizations or led by them with the collaboration of community individuals, families, leaders or other institutions or organizations. Many instances of community accountability take place outside of formal domestic violence interventions, e.g., family threats to confront abusers occur outside legal structures and inside socio-familial ones, or are meted out by structures of authority such as clan leaders.

This article raises some practical and thought-provoking questions about batterer accountability, taking the victim’s perspective and community well-being into account.

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by Grace Poore

March 2006

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