While victims are our #1 priority, we believe it’s important to work with the batterers in order to stop the cycle of abuse. Our goal is to prevent future incidents of domestic violence from occurring.
Ultimately, we are working toward a long-term solution, not just a short-term one.
The Batterer’s Intervention Program is a 52-week group program that can be completed in up to 16 months. It’s organized as a group facilitation process with each session running 90 minutes.
Within the program there is a particular curriculum we follow. This includes videos, different discussion topics each week and written work. Phase One consists of 10 weeks, where we focus on responsibility and accountability. If a client can’t accept that they are personally responsible and accountable for their own actions, they can’t move forward.
Once Phase One is finished, the client moves on to regular group sessions. Class sizes are typically 10-12 people with no more than 16 at one time. While many of the clients are attending this program because of a court order, we do occasionally have those who choose it on their own.
Groups are offered for both male and female batterers, however the sessions are conducted separately. Morning, afternoon and evening classes are offered for men in Oklahoma City, Yukon and Guthrie. There is currently one class time available to women.
Some of the women who participate in this program were victims at one point or grew up in violent homes and we are sensitive to that concern. For some people violence and abuse are the only examples they had growing up and now they don’t know how to act differently. That is why we have programs like these designed to stop the cycle of abuse.
For some of our clients, the goal of this program is to reunite families. Unfortunately, that’s not always appropriate and may not be in the best interest of the children. However, cases where the batterer learns to take ownership of what they’ve done and make a change for the future is what makes it all worth it.
While we can’t make people accept responsibility for their actions, this program is designed to find and help those who will, and to hold the others accountable for their actions, keeping families safe.