A Batterers Intervention Program (BIP) is a community program that makes victim safety its first priority, establishes accountability for batterers and promotes a coordinated community response to domestic violence.
For the purposes of Batterer's Intervention Program, the definition of domestic violence is:
"A pattern of assaultive or coercive behavior, including physical, sexual, or psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against an intimate partner. Intimate partners include spouse, former spouse, those living or having lived as if a spouse, those having a child in common, those having a past or current sexual relationship, or a past or current dating relationship".
Intervention standards promote the elimination of domestic violence by providing guidelines for ethical and accountable intervention practices to protect victims, their families and the community while seeking to eliminate domestic violence. Intervention standards mandate that only the highest level of ethical and informed practice is acceptable and encourage provider responsibility in reaching these standards.
- Intervention standards remind providers that intervention services are one of numerous important community strategies to end violence against women.
- Intervention standards establish the minimum level of responsibility, service, and accountability expected from providers.
- Standards provide a measure against which program performance and efficacy can be evaluated, while providing a basis for future program development.
- Intervention standards help insure that men who batter receive services that are non-abusive, that support change, and that hold program clients accountable for their behavior.
- Intervention standards provide information about appropriate intervention methods so that the public has a measure with which to evaluate these services.
- Intervention standards foster statewide collaboration among providers.
CRRCS recognizes three core principles that are the foundation for any form of work with Batterer's; each principle has a number of activities that CRRCS sees as critical practices under the principle. The core principles of practice, in this order, are:
Each of these principles is discussed in more detail below.
The safety of battered men or women, their children, their families, and the community as a whole are paramount and of critical importance in any work with batterer's. This means that:
- The rehabilitation and confidentiality of men who batter is secondary to the victims' safety.
- Ending violence takes precedence over saving relationships, or treating chemical dependency or mental illness.
- Batterers Intervention Programs shall not be co-educational.
- Substance abuse, addictions, and/or mental illness counseling/treatment is not an appropriate intervention for domestic violence and may not be substituted for the BIP.
- Anger management counseling/treatment is not an appropriate intervention for domestic violence and may not be substituted for a BIP.
- Couples counseling is not an appropriate intervention and may not be substituted for the BIP.
There are two levels of accountability that are critical for BIPs to engage in: ensuring the accountability of the Batterer's, and ensuring that the BIPs themselves and their providers are accountable. Fulfilling the principle of accountability means that:
- The BIP must be vigilant against becoming an advocate or witness on behalf of the participant.
- Group sessions must be the primary approach for the BIP.
- BIP will emphasize the accountability of male participants.
- There will be no discrimination of race, class, age, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or handicaps in hiring of employees or in providing services to batterers.
- BIP providers agree to sign and abide by the ethical standards in this document.
In order to engage in safe and accountable work, BIPs must work in collaboration with local programs who serve victim/survivors of domestic violence, law enforcement, and others. Collaboration is an essential ingredient to working with men who batter and includes:
- In cases where substance abuse, addictions, and/or mental illness have been identified the treatment intervention must be separate from the BIP.
- No funding efforts will compete with victim advocate services.
- Being an active participant in local coordinated community response efforts.