1991
BATTERERS TREATMENT STANDARDS
FOR STATE-FUNDED DOMESTIC ABUSE BATTERERS-TREATMENT GRANTS/CONTRACTS


These standards address primary treatment approaches and practices.currently recognized as the most appropriate treatment choice for domestic violence abusers. These standards do not address secondary treatment or therapy which a batterer may desire or may become involved in after primary treatment (e.g., individual, family or couples counseling).



I. Primary Batterers Treatment Services Objectives
A. To provide primary domestic abuse batterers treatment services which will help batterers to stop their physically violent 'and other abusive and controlling behavior.

B. To provide batterers treatment services in a manner which best ensures that partners and children are safe.


C. To participate in community activities which promote consistent monitoring of offenders, improve protection of victims and improve local response to domestic violence.



II. Definitions

Domestic Abuse
: Domestic abuse is defined as physical abuse or threats of physical abuse by an adult family or household member against another adult family or household member, by an adult against another adult with whom that person created a child, or violence or threats of violence occurring in a dating relationship.

Domestic Abuse Program: A domestic abuse program is an organization which provides safety for battered women and.their children in a shelter facility or safe-home network, and/or provides at a minimum, nonresidential services (such as crisis counseling and advocacy, 24 hour crisis phone services, and support groups for battered women).

Program for Batterers: A program providing primary treatment (education/counseling services) for individuals who have admitted to committing acts of domestic violence or have been convicted of criminal offenses against a current or former adult family member or intimate partner.

Monitoring Program: Program which has as its primary purpose, case management, monitoring or supervising alleged or convicted offenders in treatment (e.g., deferred prosecution units, probation and parole, etc.).



III. Eligibility

A. To be eligible for state-funded batterers treatment contracts, providers must:
l. Be a domestic abuse program, a monitoring program or a program for batterers as defined in Section II. (If the provider is not a local battered women's program, endorsement by the battered women's program(s) that serve(s) the monitoring or batterers program's geographic area, must be obtained.)

2. Meet all requirements as outlined in Section IV.


3. Provide separate services for female perpetrators. Male and female.perpetrators may not be seen together in the same group.

B. The following restrictions make programs ineligible for state funded batterers treatment grants/contracts:
1. Programs that do not offer batterer groups as the primary treatment method. Exceptions are allowable for individuals to be seen alone in addition to participating in group or if the client is considered inappropriate for group.

2. Programs that use couples counseling or family therapy as a primary treatment method OR see couples or families together before a client has completed a batterers group. A couples orientation session, defined as one meeting with a couple. together.to give the partner information, not counseling, is not considered couples counseling.

This restriction does not imply that couples or family therapy/counseling should be discouraged after the batterer has successfully completed primary batterers group treatment. But, care must be taken to ensure that the partner wants to participate and is not being coerced.


3. Programs that require psychological tests for battered women and/or their children or mandate partners to participate in any way in the treatment of the batterer.


IV. Program Requirements

Batterers treatment providers should (A) provide services for batterers,
(B) provide or arrange for the provision of services for victims, described in Section IV-B, (C) improve community coordination and responsiveness to batterers and victims and their children, and (D) evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment programs.


A. Services for Batterers

The following standards (Part IV-A I- through 20) with an asterisk (*) preceding the number are required of all state-funded batterers treatment programs; other standards are recommendations which are strongly encouraged:

Goals, Objectives, Approaches
*1. The primary goal of the batterers treatment program must be
to end domestic violence, including but not limited to
physical, emotional, sexual and economic abuse, as well as
threats of violence and social isolation of a partner.

*2. Programs must clearly define domestic violence as a crime
and hold batterers accountable for their criminal actions.

*3. Programs must address the unique needs of special
populations (people of color, people with limited literacy,
differently abled, etc.) in program development and
implementation.

*4. Programs must accept all clients regardless of race,

religion, ability to pay, etc.

Administration, Procedures, Treatment Contract
5. Clients are expected to pay a fee for services provided. Indigent clients should pay a nominal fee.

*6. Programs must provide clients with a written statement of their rights and responsibilities, and a treatment contract.

*7. Providers must develop, comply with, and inform clients of written policies concerning involuntary termination from the treatment program due to non-attendance, non-participation in the group, recurrence of-violence or threats of violence and other vi.violations of the treatment contract.

*8.a. Clients must sign confidentiality waivers allowing programs to contact criminal justice agencies and partners to report if the batterer has been absent or dropped from the program or if there has been a reoccurrence of -violence or threats of violence.

*b. Any information received from a partner is confidential. This information may never be used to confront the batterer or as a therapeutic technique.


*9. Providers must report knowledge of any recurrences) of .violence or other violations of a court.ordered client's treatment contract (acquired from anyone other than the par partner):to the criminal justice system.

*10. Providers must inform partners that abuse may-continue, should assist in or acquire assistance for development of a safety plan, provide information about what the batterer will learn in group and provide referrals.

11. Batterers should begin treatment within a reasonable period of time from the initial contact with the treatment agency (i.e., date of court referral, probation referral or client's call to make an appointment).'


*12. Providers must assess or obtain an assessment of the batterers need for AODA or mental health services. If needed, the client's successful completion of AODA treatment should occur before beginning batterer's treatment.

Staffing, Program Content
13. Groups must be run by two facilitators. Facilitators may be paid or unpaid but must receive training on domestic violence. Paired male/female co-facilitators are preferable.

*14. Facilitators must have demonstrable knowledge of the effects of violent victimization by an intimate partner, as would be acquired by regular contact-with battered women and/or formerly battered women (e.g., volunteering at the battered women's program.)

*15. The educational component of the treatment curriculum must include information about:

a. power and control issues
b. the Sociocultural basis for violence
c. issues of sexism and gender role stereotyping


*16. Programs must acknowledge that victims are not to blame for domestic violence and must confront any victim-blaming which occurs in group
*The speed with which batterers can be brought into treatment is currently considered significant to the successful outcome of treatment. Efforts should be made to work toward bringing arrested batterers into treatment within 2 weeks from the date of arrest.
*17. Batterers group sessions are a potentially sympathetic environment for batterers to reinforce each other's -attitudes, behaviors,.and actions which promote violence against women and condone the value of controlling female partners-and other women. Programs must acknowledge that this is a dangerous side effect commonly occurring in batterer's treatment and have written policies advising facilitators on how to address it.

18. Programs should sponsor or run children's groups for children of batterers.

19. Programs should encourage clients to do volunteer work for social change as part of successfully completing the program and should have a reliable method to monitor such activities.


20. Programs should sponsor or run a monitored after-care group.

B. Services for Victims

If the batterers treatment provider is not a local battered women's program, it is strongly encouraged that the provider hire one or more formerly battered women, or subcontract with or make arrangements with a local battered women's program to:
1. Review program curriculum and routinely monitor groups


2. Facilitate orientation groups for partners to:
a. provide basic domestic violence information
b. make the partner aware that the batterer may continue to be abusive during or after treatment
c. develop safety plans
d. provide information about what the batterer will learn in group
e. provide legal information and referrals
f. provide referrals to other local agencies, including battered women's programs
g. provide information about procedures that will be used to inform the partner and justice system of treatment contract violations
3. Conduct follow-up contacts with partners


Treatment providers must be aware of obstacles (such as safety, child care needs, and transportation) to providing information and services to partners. Providers should develop creative strategies for providing orientation groups and for their contact with victims which reflect attempts at overcoming obstacles and barriers.


C. Improve Community Coordination and Responsiveness

Batterers treatment programs are strongly encouraged to:
1. Develop or continue linkages with. local battered women's programs, Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA), Child Protective Services.(CPS), law enforcement, criminal justice, and other- agencies that work with batterers and victims.

2. Participate in regular meetings with representatives of batterers treatment programs, battered women's -programs, law enforcement and criminal justice and others . to promote and establish consistent monitoring of offender progress, improve local protection of victims and children, and improve response to domestic violence.

3. Provide documentation of treatment contract violations to appropriate criminal justice system agencies.


4. Increase public awareness through community education.

D. Record Keeping and Evaluation

Batterers treatment programs are required to: 1. Provide standardized intake screening
2. Maintain signed contracts with batterers
3. Document and monitor batterers' progress
4. Maintain written standardized treatment discharge evaluation which includes the partners' evaluations (whenever possible, but only if their participation will not endanger them) of the batterers' behavioral and attitudinal changes.

5. 6 month and 18 month follow-up:
a. repeat of discharge evaluation to include
1. batterers treatment clients
2. victims (if safely possible)
b. contact with law enforcement and justice agencies to determine whether contacts with those agencies recurred.