Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) began in 1980 as an initiative to reform the criminal justice system in Duluth, Minnesota. At that time, victims of domestic violence had little recourse when being assaulted by their intimate partners. Perpetrators were rarely arrested unless the assault happened in front of an officer or the injuries sustained by the victim were serious. Choices for victims were limited—initiate criminal justice charges, endure the abuse or flee the relationship.
DAIP organizers—activists in the battered women’s movement—set out to understand the laws, policies and procedures of the criminal justice system, as well as understand the cultures of each of the involved agencies. In doing so, they built relationships that allowed new interventions to be proposed and tested. The results were strikingly effective in keeping batterers from continuing their abuse. Eventually, eleven community agencies agreed to continue to formally work together to continue to make positive change in the criminal justice system around battering. This effort became known as “The Duluth Model.”
The Duluth Model has evolved and changed over the last 30 years and has spread across the globe. DAIP continues to work toward ending violence against women through its programs in Duluth and in partnership with domestic violence practitioners around the world.
The mission of Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs is to end violence against women. We give voice to diverse women who are battered by translating their experiences into innovative programs and institutional changes that centralize victim safety. We partner with communities worldwide to inspire the social and political will to eliminate violence against women and their families.
To live this mission:
- We listen to battered women: Our work involves active engagement with women who have experienced violence so that our efforts are guided by their realities and concerns.
- We educate to promote liberation: An educational process of dialogue and critical thinking is key to our efforts to assist women in understanding and confronting the violence directed against them, and to our efforts to challenge and support men who commit to ending battering.
- We advocate for institutional and social change: We examine the practices and policies of social and governmental agencies that intervene in the lives of battered women, and address systemic problems by engaging with institutional practitioners and leaders in the development of creative and effective solutions.
- We struggle against all forms of oppression. Women are not defined by a single identity, but live in the intersection of their race, gender, class, ethnicity, nationality, disability, age, religion and sexual orientation. Our work must also challenge all systems of oppression that create a climate of supremacy and intolerance that facilitates violence and exploitation in women’s lives.
- We promote non-violence and peace: Every step we take, every interaction we have with others, is an opportunity to advance non-violence, continually working toward and building a culture and a future of peace.