Adam James.

The Dangers of the Duluth Model

The Dangers of the Duluth Model

This is what is referred to as the “Duluth Model”. More information on their website here https://www.theduluthmodel.org/what-is-the-duluth-model/

This is the framework the Australian government and most organisations use to inform their programs on how to manage domestic violence cases. The ideas purported in this framework has infected many areas of society including, most detrimentally, our police and judicial system.

According to the model men can ONLY be perpetrators and women can ONLY be victims. The ONLY solution provided for men is pacifying classes. The ONLY solution prescribed for women is empowerment classes.

I think the Duluth model is fundamentally anti-feminist because it assumes that “women are so weak and incapable that they could never cause harm to men who are stronger and more capable”. This is simply not true.

I passionately believe in supporting female victims of domestic violence. I literally do it every single week for as long I can remember. My grandmother was murdered by my grandfather. It was horrific and that event has given me a drive to really do something about it in my community so that it doesn’t happen to other families. Domestic violence ruins families and communities. We all need to do more for women, and men, who are real victims of domestic violence. Especially in that danger window of confrontation when they are communicating about leaving the relationship.

I have been in a relationship with a woman who was an alcoholic and extraordinarily and unexpectedly violent. I blamed it on myself. I literally thought “if I was a better partner then she wouldn’t hit me”. (So ridiculous and humiliating admitting now). At the time I read several books on the topic. I took responsibility for my choices, the things I was doing to enable it. I spoke to a couple of trusted advisors including a mentor and a seasoned clinical psychologist. She continued the behaviour. So I left. The psychological abuse and games continued for years.

Where do I fit in the Duluth Model? Where does Jari Wise, Payman Thagipur, Jarred Castel, Daniel Surtees (men who have been murdered in Australia by their female partners) fit in the Duluth Model?

The Duluth Model and this idea that women need to be taught to be afraid of all men, because all men are perpetrators, is destroying our communities, universities, businesses, families and relationships.

Most men and women are good people. Normal healthy people have a fight but then you come back and take ownership for your mistakes. Healthy people are FLEXIBLE. Healthy people SHARE THEIR POWER with their loved ones.

They make decisions together. They compromise. They will work with their partner to make the relationship and life work. Some good people make stupid mistakes and need to be pulled up, go through a program, see a psych or a mentor and fix up some substandard behaviour. There is nothing wrong with this, normal people of either gender and either sexual orientation can make mistakes, take responsibility for bad choices and work with their partner to have a sustainable non-violent mutually rewarding and supportive relationship.

There are also psychopaths out there (about 2%ish of the population), of either gender, who will use violence to gain power over other people. They will shamelessly use aggression, fear, manipulation, intimidation with various methods from controlling finances, isolating, gaslighting, violence, threats of violence, violence against the kids, using threats of making false allegations to the police, the list goes on and on… TO CONTROL THEIR PARTNER. They do this because they refuse to power share, they refuse to take personal responsibility for their emotions and their actions. By choosing this and acting this way they are saying they don’t value equality, they don’t value their partner, they don’t value nonviolence, they don’t value liberty. These people aren’t likely gonna change. You need to identify these people. Politely keep your distance. Do NOT have a romantic relationship with them. Do NOT expect to NOT to be abused by psychopaths.

The Duluth Model is a sexist and shameful framework that should be immediately abolished. It is demeaning to both men and women and all homosexual couples. It should be replaced with a values based framework that holds men & women as equally valued, capable and responsible members of humanity.

If you agree please share this post with your friends. Let’s make some positive changes together.



I'm a musician, a podcaster, a blogger & I work in marketing. I live in Australia and have two dogs named Ned & Sasha.


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