Interventions - Batterer Intervention Programs

State-certified Batterer Intervention Programs are overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and must meet very specific treatment criteria. A list of these programs can be found on its website.

These programs emphasize long-term group approaches, which combine education based on feminist views of domestic violence with cognitive behavioral techniques and therapeutic interventions. The group leaders and, hopefully, experienced members challenge the implicit, or even explicit, legitimating messages another member may receive from their natural social environment. Members are trained in non-violent options of interacting, with more successful group members functioning as role models. The group serves also to provide an alternative "support community" for the members.

Besides this, batterer intervention programs generally seek to broaden the perpetrator's understanding of what constitutes abuse, recognize its impact on adult and child victims, accept responsibility for one's abusive actions, overcome patterns of minimizing, justifying, blaming and excuse-making, and recognize more respectful and empathic ways of communicating with one's partner.

Certified Batterer Intervention Programs have partner safety as a major focus. Consequently, the programs attempt to speak with and stay in touch with the partners of the batterers involved in the program. The point to this partner contact is to monitor the batterer's behavior outside of group and provide limited support and referrals to partners.