St. Bernard Battered Women’s Program Lunch and Learn session open for registration

The event will take place Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. with lunch served at noon at Docville Farm, AMROC Building Second Floor, 5124 E. St. Bernard Hwy., Violet, Louisiana 70092.

About the Training

The greatest myth about domestic violence is that all batterers are one and the same. The one-size-fits-all approach to batterers is a dangerously antiquated method of intervention. Consequently, well-intentioned but uninformed professionals often provide bad advice to domestic violence victims and unknowingly place their lives in jeopardy. The fact is—batterers essentially fall into three basic groups: Category One – Situational Abusers; Category Two – Sporadic Batterers; and Category Three – Serial Batterers. All three groups differ substantially in their personality profiles, frequency of abuse, magnitude of abuse, potential lethality, and ability to respond to various treatment modalities. For example, while Category Ones are not generally dangerous and rarely injure their victims, Category Threes are capable of severely injuring and even murdering (including mass murder) their victims.

This session will train professionals on how to assess the type of batterer they are encountering and what best practices should be employed in addressing the behaviors of individual perpetrators and the safety needs of victims. The presenter will explain his published model (lethality assessment tool) known as the Batterer’s Continuum that promotes the practice of triage for victims of domestic violence while placing an emphasis on separating high-risk batterers from low-risk batterers for the purpose of prosecution, treatment and safety planning. The primary purpose of such triage (as is the case with medical facilities) is to reduce injuries and casualties by providing priority response to domestic violence victims who are most at risk. The presenter will emphasize that in many cases, proper lethality assessment can be a life-serving technique.

About the Presenter

The training session will be lead by Michael Groetsch, Retired Senior Probation Officer, New Orleans Municipal Court. He was the founder of the first court-based program in Louisiana to specialize in spousal abuse. In his 40-year career, he has screened over 60,000 cases of domestic violence for the City Attorney and District Attorney Offices for the City of New Orleans and is recognized as a national authority and professional trainer on the topic of lethality assessment. He is the author of 2 books (published by CPI) and 30 editorial essays on the topic of battering. In 1996, he published a lethality assessment model now used by professionals across the country. In 1997, a training film he assisted CPI in writing and producing titled “Assessing the Danger” won the Silver Screen Award at the International Film and Video Festival held in Chicago. In 1998, the “Dear Abby” column published his insights into batterers and he has served as a consultant to their staff on the topic of domestic perpetration. New Orleans Magazine has recognized Mr. Groetsch as “knowing more about batterers than any professional in the United States.” In 1983, Senator Bennet Johnston nominated him to the White House Task Force on Domestic Violence. He has received awards from the US Dept. of Justice, the AG’s Office of La., the DA of New Orleans, and several DV programs. Mr. Groetsch is a founding member of two battered women’s programs and frequently testifies before the Louisiana Senate. He has assisted in the writing and passage of Louisiana Stalking Laws, city ordinances, and police policies related to domestic violence. He served on the Mayor’s DV Task Force for many years. He is writing his third domestic violence book and a book of creative non-fiction short stories. Since 2004, thirteen of his short stories have won literary awards. He recently released a musical CD titled “I Can Still Hear the Music” that he co-wrote and co-produced with singer Dan Rivers and publishes a website that goes by the same name at

Registration is required for this event. All attendees must be registerd by Monday, May 15, 2017. To register, send an email to or call Gail Gowland at (504) 231-1247.