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Batterers Intervention Program
(3 Phases, Definition & Examples)

Batterer intervention programs are court-ordered classes designed to address the root causes of domestic violence and prevent participants from committing acts of violence in the future. The program consists of an initial assessment, orientation, and weekly group counseling sessions.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

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What is a Batterer?

A batterer is a person who perpetrates domestic violence, stalking, or other harassment against present or past intimate partners, another adult, emancipated minor or minor child, who are family or household members, or who are or were in a dating relationship. The violence perpetrated by a batterer is usually episodic rather than a one-time event.

Who is Required to Participate in a Batterers Intervention Program?

Batterers' intervention programs are intended for offenders who are found guilty of a crime of domestic violence. Domestic violence is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

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Why Would a Person Use Violence in a Relationship?

Violence in relationships occurs when one party feels entitled to power and control over the other and chooses to use abuse to exert that control. Violence is never equal in relationships where domestic violence exists.

Even if the victim fights back to diffuse a situation, there is always one person who is the primary, constant source of power, control, and abuse in the relationship.

What Makes a Relationship Abusive?

An abusive relationship involves one partner attempting to cause harm to the other. This can encompass a wide range of behaviors.

Not all abusive relationships are physically violent. Emotional abuse is far more common than physical abuse. Making things worse, emotional abuse is harder to recognize, because it can be easily mistaken as an intense form of love and devotion.

Many abusive relationships seem incredibly passionate and romantic at first, and then gradually descend into manipulation and cruelty.

Who Does Abuse Affect the Most?

Women are most likely to be victims of abuse and perpetrators are most likely to be men. Children are often the hidden victims of domestic violence and abuse.

What are the 3 Phases of the Domestic Violence Cycle?

There are 3 phases in the cycle of domestic violence: (1) the Tension-Building Phase, (2) the Acute or Crisis Phase, and (3) the Calm or Honeymoon Phase. Without intervention, the frequency and severity of the abuse tend to increase over time.

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