Purpose & Philosophy
The purpose of the Batterer Intervention & Prevention Program (BIPP) is to reduce the frequency and severity of domestic violence in the communities that the program serves. The BIPP works in collaboration with the local Domestic Violence program to provide the communities served with the most comprehensive range of appropriate services.
The BIPP is licensed by the West Virginia Family Protection Services Board (FPSB) and is offered by a variety of entities. The BIPP collaborates with the legal system to address the problem of Domestic Violence (DV) in the most consistent and appropriate manner possible. Assisting the local DV program in maintaining victim safety and assisting the legal system to hold perpetrators appropriately accountable for their abusive behavior are the BIPP’s highest priorities.
Core Beliefs of BIPP
- Domestic Violence is a serious crime against both the victim and the entire family system.
- DV perpetrators will usually continue to engage in a pattern of abusive/controlling behavior until society (not merely the victim or family) holds them accountable for this behavior.
- Battering is a behavior that perpetrators have learned; it is NOT the result of heredity, addiction, or any unalterable medical, psychological, or personality condition.
- Accountability for abusive behavior is neither eliminated nor minimized by alcohol/other drug problems, mental illness, or by behavior on the part of the victim that the abuser perceives as inflammatory.
- Abusive behavior which is learned can be “unlearned,” or replaced with behavior that is more appropriate, respectful, and empathic.
- The potential for arrest and incarceration are the consequences that most DV perpetrators are most eager to avoid.
- Perpetrators of Domestic offenses that do not involve physical violence (e.g. Domestic Stalking, Telephone Harassment) generally hold the same beliefs and motives as DV perpetrators.
- Perpetrator intervention programs are the most effective services that are available in order to provide offenders with the assistance they need in accepting appropriate levels of responsibility for their behavior and developing appropriate alternatives to abusive/controlling behavior the essential components of healthy intimate (and/or other domestic) relationships.
- Until the perpetrator has successfully completed a perpetrator intervention program that is conducted in accordance with FPSB guidelines, other forms of treatment that purport to address the abusive behavior itself (particularly any treatment that require involvement from the victim/other family) are NOT appropriate, and can actually increase the potential danger to the victim(s).
Nature of the program
The BIPP is a thirty-two (32) week program, with one group session per week and each session lasting for 90-120 minutes. The BIPP is operated in accordance with all applicable FPSB guidelines.
The content of the BIPP includes all forms of abusive behavior identified on the Power & Control Wheel in addition to healthy alternatives identified on the Equality Wheel, initially developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project of Duluth, MN (DAIP). This information is conveyed through a variety of formats, including facilitator lecture, group discussion, client self-disclosure, videos, and written handouts.
Other sources of program content include education about the prevalence and severity of DV both locally and nationwide, the relationship between alcohol/other drug abuse and DV, the characteristics distinguishing the BIPP from traditional anger management treatment, the characteristics that distinguish male-perpetrated DV from female-perpetrated DV, the etiology and impact of belief systems that condone abusive behavior, and the course of abusive relationships.
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West Virginia Code § 61-11-22 maintains that no person charged with a crime of domestic violence, or certain other crimes, is eligible for pretrial diversion. West Virginia Code § 61-11-22a, however, permits a person charged with a first offense crimes of domestic violence to participate in a period of deferred adjudication under certain specific circumstances. Those charged with crimes of domestic violence, sexual violence—or crimes where the victim is a family or household member—should speak with their attorney to determine if they’re eligible for pre-trial diversion or deferred adjudication under these codes. Intervention programs, including BIPP, are the most effective way we have of helping offenders accept responsibility for their abusive behavior, and of helping them learn healthy alternatives to those behaviors.