2022 Conference

26th Annual BISC-MI Conference

Dates: October 25, 26, 27, 2022

Innovative Practices in Battering Intervention Programs:
How Can We Do Better?

AT THE KENSINGTON HOTEL – Ann Arbor, Michigan!

Conference description: One of the most common questions still asked about battering intervention programs (BIPs) is, “Do they work?” It is important to recognize that there is a substantial body of research, stretching over decades, that demonstrate the effectiveness of BIPs in reducing rates of domestic violence. It is time to replace the question “Do Battering Intervention Programs work?” with “How can BIPs work better?

This year’s BISC-MI conference will recognize the legitimacy and impact of BIPs while focusing on innovative practices from around the country. The goal is to encourage attendees to examine what they are currently doing that works while continuing to evolve and explore what they might be able to do better.

Cost: The fee for attending this conference in-person versus virtually is the same because those attending in-person will have meals and snacks or dessert provided at evening networking events, and those attending virtually will be paying for the additional technological fees associated with making this conference possible to attend virtually.

Membership Fee Reduction: There is a reduced fee for in-person or virtual attendees who are BISC-MI members. For more information about membership, go to: https://www.biscmi.org/about/get-membership/

The Office on Violence Against Women has once again approved our request to invite OVW grantees to attend The Battering Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan (BISC-MI) 2022 Conference to be held October 25, 26, 27, 2022.

Grantees from CSSP, Disability, ICJR, Rural, SASP, State Coalitions, STOP, and Underserved programs have conditionally approved their grantees to attend this conference.  Grantees must submit a Grant Award Modification (GAM) requesting approval to use their OVW funds to attend this conference.  Grantees must receive approval from their program specialists before they commit or expend any funds related to attending this conference.

The reference number for this conference is OVW-2022-MU-027.  This number must be used by grantees when requesting approval to attend the conference. This approval and assigned reference number is for this conference only.

Registration is now live!


Three Day Registration By October 14, 2022:
Member Early Bird: $350.00
Non-Member Early Bird: $450.00

Three Day Registration After October 14, 2022:
Member $450.00
Non-Member $550.00

Daily Registration (for Virtual Attendees only):
Member $150.00
Non-Member $195.00

Click here if you require a W9 from BISC-MI

Student Reduced Rate Available
(See Scholarship Info Below)

In person attendees must attend all three days.
Breakfast, lunch and snacks included with registration fee.

Virtual attendees have the option of attending all or part of this conference.

This conference will be only be offered live with participation online or in person  (The conference will not be recorded)

This course is approved by the Michigan Social Work
Continuing Education Collaborative
Course Approval: #080122-00
Up to 18.0 Michigan Social Work CE Hours
Fee for Michigan-approved Social Work CEs:

$50.00 for all three days,

or $20.00 per day option for virtual attendees only

Up to 18.0 BIP CEs – no extra fee, not limited to Michigan

Click here for conference information in .pdf format


Student Rate offered for Virtual or In-Person Conference

Students interested in a low-cost conference:

BISC-MI is offering student scholarships and seeking applications available to
undergraduate and graduate students, for our 2022 hybrid conference.|

Students whose applications are accepted can attend virtually or in-person for $25.00 per day,
with the choice of attending one, two, or three of the days.|

Note for students attending in-person:  The $25.00 daily fee covers meals and conference registration.
Lodging costs are not included at or near the Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan.|

To fill out an application to apply for this student rate, go to this link: https://forms.gle/uLAhzyRzcBEbSWx76

Make lodging reservations early with THE KENSINGTON HOTEL – ANN ARBOR!

NOTE: Lodging reservations is a separate process from conference registration



The Kensington Hotel – Ann Arbor offers BISC-MI guests a reduced rate of $105.00/night for single and double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. If you are state of Michigan tax exempt, be sure present appropriate documentation at hotel check in.

The deadline for making reservations is Monday, October 3, 2022 but the conference block may easily fill sooner and rooms will no longer be available at the reduced rate. If the Kensington Hotel block fills, BISC-MI will share information for alternate partner hotels in the area, but reduced rate offers are not guaranteed. Group room rate is offered the nights of Sunday October 23, 2022 through Wednesday October 26, 2022 (checking out Thursday October 27, 2022).

A limited number of rooms may be available for the night of Thursday October 27, 2022 (checking out checking out Friday October 28, 2022. Make reservations early or call the hotel directly if you need to include Thursday October 27, 2022 in your reservation). 

Please make note of the hotel cancellation policy when making your reservations, and remember to make any reservation changes according to the policy. BISC-MI is not responsible for any fees incurred for personal hotel reservations during the conference

Hotel check-in time is 4:00 pm; check-out is 11:00 am

To make hotel lodging reservations online:

  • Start at the hotel’s homepage online: Click Here
  • Enter the dates of your stay
  • In the promo code box, enter: 2210BISCMI to see the discounted block rate reflected.


In the Discount Code field (drop down menu), select “Group Attendee,” then enter code: “2210BISCMI .”
Please note: some features and information display differently across various mobile and desktop devices.
Please contact the hotel with questions or issues about the online reservation process.


Address:  3500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone: 866.315.7075
Email: ask@kcourtaa.com

Easy Parking!
Ample, free self-parking is available at the Kensington Hotel Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108


Day One: Tuesday, October 25, 2022


8:30 am – 9:30 am EST Continental Breakfast Provided and Registration

9:30 am – 10:00 am Welcome: Chéree Thomas, Associate Director, Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence

10:00 am – 11:30 am Plenary 1: Centering Survivor Perspectives:  What Do Survivors Want from BIPs?
Faculty: Lisa Young Larance, Richard M. Tolman
Description: Centering survivors’ experiences and priorities is an essential foundational principle of accountable, effective BIP work as well as a fundamental component of reimagining systems’ responses to intimate partner violence. Thus, in order to address the question of this year’s conference, “How Can We Do Better?” we must begin with, and consistently incorporate, direction from those who have survived intimate harm. This session will provide early information from a community-based participatory research study designed to assess BIP effectiveness from the perspectives of women from diverse backgrounds whose abusive partners had BIP contact. The presentation will provide an opportunity to examine emerging findings and explore directions for further study.

11:30 am – 11:45 am EST Break

11:45 am – 1:15 pm EST Plenary 2: Talking Research: How to Effectively Access, Understand, and Utilize Findings
Faculty: Etiony Aldarondo & Eric Mankowski
Description: Has your abuse intervention and prevention program missed out on referrals because mandating authorities said they needed evidence that your program is effective?  Has a judge asked for research showing that your program is effective, but you couldn’t provide what they wanted?  Or you lost a service contract with state or county corrections, perhaps because a new but seemingly untested alternative program model was adopted instead?  Maybe you are willing to do some research on your program but have no funds to do this and have little idea how to begin or who to approach to ask for assistance.  Perhaps you are interested in improving your program with the latest research-based best practices, but wonder how to access published studies, and do not want to pay fees to access articles that only include a one paragraph abstract. Or when reading research articles, you are uncertain about what it means for the work you do.  If any of these resonate, as applied academic and consulting researchers, we hear you! At this session, we will demystify the university-based system of research, explain how to access research and develop meaningful and rewarding relationships with university faculty and students, offer a practical toolkit for engaging and utilizing research (e.g., how to form a research advisory board), and make the case that abuse intervention programs and their participants have unique capacity in our intervention system to generate invaluable knowledge that is urgently needed to promote safety at home and in the community.

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm EST Lunch Buffet Provided

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm Plenary 3: Can They Really Change? Can We? Expanding Our Interventions for Change Through a Helpline for Abusive Partners
Faculty: JAC Patrissi
Description: In April 2021 the state of Massachusetts opened the nation’s first free, anonymous confidential helpline dedicated to creating the conditions for change through dialogue with people who use the tools of abuse in their intimate partnerships. Though conceived as a statewide helpline, calls have been coming from around the country and are welcomed. The A Call for Change Helpline co-founders place this innovation in a tradition of transformative justice using a framework that sees intimate partner violence within White Supremacy and other forms of domination. In this presentation we will explore these and other questions:  1) Why have a helpline like this?  2) What have we learned?  3) What is the most critical skill we continually cultivate?  4) How and why Black Indigenous People of Color and LGBTQUIA communities lead and shape our analysis and interventions.

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm EST Break

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm Plenary 4: Exploring the unique dynamics of working with Black and Latino men in intervention programs

This panel of researchers and service providers will discuss the unique and additional barriers faced by Black and Latino program participants and their families and effective way to engage them in work that supports safety. This panel will also explore the unique experience of being a person of color providing intervention services.

Panelists include Etiony Aldarondo from the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment, Juan Carlos Arean from Futures Without Violence, Candy Gomez from Catherine Cobb Safe House, and Angelique Green-Manning, Anani Jones, and Luis Mendez from House of Ruth Maryland’s Gateway Project. Juan Carlos Arean will also be moderating.

Learning Objectives:

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe both historical and very present impacts of institutional racism, resource segregation, and historical trauma.
  2. Identify additional supports that can address the unique needs of these communities and participant retention and success.
  3. Identify ways the intimate partner violence field as a whole and intervention programs in particular has negatively impacted families and communities of color by over-relying on the criminal legal system as a response to abuse.
  4. Name one way to navigate cultural differences between intervention program providers and program participants.

Suggested Questions:

  1. How do you see the impact of institutional racism, resource segregation and historical trauma showing up in intervention programs?
  2. How has the field’s dependence on the criminal legal system impacted the families and communities you serve?
  3. What can programs do to mitigate the impact of institutional racism, resource segregation, and historical trauma?
  4. Why do you think our field has not been doing these things?
  5. How does providing intervention services in a community of color impact you as a person of color?
  6. Could you share one suggestion for your colleagues in the intervention field who may aspire to be allies to Black and Latino families?
  7. Could you share one suggestion for your colleagues in the intervention field who may aspire to be allies to you as a provider of color?
  8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm EST Plenary 5: Working with voluntary abusive partners
Faculty: Chris Huffine
Description: Most programs around the country work almost exclusively with court-involved abusive partners—receiving referrals from probation, child protective services, and family court.  While this is an important population to work with, it leaves out a large number of abusive partners who will never become involved with the court system in the first place.  This workshop is intended to raise awareness of this population, how to more effectively engage voluntary clients, and how programing needs to be a little different to work with them well and retain them.  It will draw on the speaker’s nearly twenty years of experience running groups for voluntary abusive partners.

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm EST Dinner on own

8:00 pm Open Gathering: Getting to Know You!
This informal gathering will provide a chance for conference attendees to get to know each other a little better including swapping stories of their experiences working with abusive partners as well as first day thoughts and reactions they have to the conference.

Day Two: Wednesday, October 26, 2022

8:30 am – 9:30 am EST Continental Breakfast

9:30 am – 10:00 am EST Welcome: Lore A. Rogers, J.D., Staff Attorney, DHHS Division of Victim Services

10:00 am – 10:30 am EST COMPASS Award:  Duluth Model founder Ellen Pence (posthumously) and Michael Paymar co-authors of the Duluth Curriculum: Creating a Process of Change for Men Who Batter.

10:30 am – 11:30 am EST Plenary 6: Going deeper with success: The Duluth Curriculum and Facilitator Training Updates
Faculty: Michael Paymar & Amanda McCormick
Description: The key to creating a change process with men who batter is grounding the work in survivors’ experiences of abuse and violence. The Duluth Curriculum has provided an effective and practical way to do this by putting the most common tactics of abuse, as they are defined by survivors, at the heart of the group work. From this lens we understand and explore all other factors including the nature of the abuse; its intent; the effects; the belief systems that underpin the behavior and their links to wider social structures and cultures; as well as participant perceptions of their experiences. Based on an extensive review of group recordings, case files, and what we have learned locally and nationally from the field, we developed a new training that addresses the challenges facilitators have (keeping participants focused on their use of violence and abuse and change) through a transformative survivor-centered approach using Freirean Dialogue. Participants in this session will get a glimpse of what we have learned and how the updated curriculum and training will enhance your implementation of Creating a Process of Change for Men Who Batter: The Duluth Curriculum.

11:30 am – 11:45 am EST Break

11:45 am – 12:45 pm EST Plenary 7: Partner Contact part 2
: Lisa Young Larance, Amanda McCormick, Rachelle Scheele, David Garvin
: Panel presentation on the many issues associated with “Partner Contact”.

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm EST Lunch Buffet Provided

1:45 pm – 2:45 pm EST Plenary 8: Intervention Staff Accountability and Skill Assessment
Faculty: Lisa Nitsch
Description: This presentation will provide several practical tools for establishing performance goals and assessing and supporting intervention staff skill development. Guidance on group preparation and debriefing, supervision, and coaching will be provided. In addition to offering valuable tools for those who supervise, this workshop is relevant for any intervention staff working to improve communication and performance within their team.

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EST Plenary 9: Batterer Intervention Programs in Rural and Remote Places: What We Know and What We Don’t Know
Faculty: Walter S. DeKeseredy
Description: Research on violence against rural women has mushroomed in the last 20 years. There is now conclusive scientific evidence showing that women in non-metropolitan areas are more likely to be physically and sexually abused by men than are their metropolitan counterparts. Nevertheless, there is much we do not know about the availability and effectiveness of batterer intervention programs (BIPs) in rural communities. The main objective of this presentation is to follow in the footsteps of the contributors to the 2011 anthology Violence Against Women and Children: Mapping the Terrain, to provide answers to these three questions: 1) What do we know about BIPS in rural and remote places?  2) How do we know it?  3) What are the next steps?

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm EST Break

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm EST Plenary 10: Talking about Technology Abuse: Perspectives from Abusive Partners and Implications for Interventions.
Faculty: Rosanna Bellini
Description: Previous work has examined tech abuse from the perspectives of survivors allowing us to learn the various types of tech abuse attacks that abusive partners use against their survivor(s). Such behaviours can include sending harassing text messages, threatening to share confidential information online, controlling access to social media accounts and surreptitious location monitoring. This session will share how this program complements this understanding by hearing from abusive partners themselves, both online and in-person about how they make sense of these behaviours. Through exploration of online public forums, and in collaboration with programme providers in New York City, this session will suggest ways for how providers can be responsive to an abusive partner’s perspectives as we work toward improved outcomes for survivors.

5:30 pm Dinner on  your own

7:30 pm EST Show & Tell: This informal gathering will provide attendees an opportunity to share innovative practices and techniques with abusive partners. Come share or listen and learn!

Day Three: Thursday, October 27, 2022

8:15 am – 9:15 am EST Continental Breakfast, Room check out!

9:15 am – 9:30 am EST Welcome and Housekeeping

9:30 am – 10:00 am EST Survivor Presentation, Healing Through Doing: How a Survivor Became a Leader
Faculty: Rachelle Scheele
Description: Rachelle Scheele, Founder of SCARS, turned her lived experience of past financial, spiritual, and verbal abuse into an organization that now not only supports other survivors, but their abusers as well. Sitting across from abusers and hearing “the abuse wasn’t your fault” was a tipping point in flipping the narrative. As the burden of responsibility lifted, the realization that abusers can change if they do the work was the key to freedom – for herself, survivors, and perpetrators. After years of facilitating and scaling up Survivor Impact Panels, Rachelle will pull from her lived experiences to share her story of healing, lessons learned, and best practices.

10:00 am – 11:00 am EST Plenary 11: The Development of Evidence-based Standards for Perpetrator Interventions in England and Wales
Faculty: Nicole Westmarland (presented remotely)
Description: This session will explain the background, approach, and outcomes of a project on ‘standards’ that was commissioned by the UK Government in 2022. The standards cover behaviour change group work as well as other specialist interventions. This session will describe how this team conducted a rapid evidence assessment of academic knowledge alongside a series of roundtables to ensure that practice knowledge was fully acknowledged and present the standards at this session alongside the evidence base for each of them.

11:00 am – 11:15 am EST Break

11:15 am – 12:15 pm EST Plenary 12: Promising Practices for Engaging Men in BIP
Faculty: Emiliano Diaz de Leon
Description: Research on engaging men in violence prevention calls attention to the promising practices of men nurturing healthy non-violent relationships with boys and men in their lives, participating in critical conversations around healthy versus toxic masculinity, and taking collective action to end gender-based violence. Emiliano will share unique challenges, inspiring successes, and lessons learned from utilizing these practices, as well as his experience of working with men in BIPs to end domestic violence.  Additionally, participants will identify effective components of prevention programming, including post-BIP men’s discussion groups and allied action events/campaigns. The strategies and tools shared will help meet the needs of diverse groups of men, including fathers, men of color, gay, bi, queer, and trans men.

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm EST Lunch Buffet Provided

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm EST Plenary 13: Risk, Needs, and Responsivity Principles: How Do They Fit in the Work of Domestic Violence Offender Intervention?
Faculty: Caroleena Frane
Description: A growing body of research shows promise behind the use of evidence-based practices (EBP) in domestic violence intervention. Calling upon the principles of Risk, Needs, and Responsivity (RNR) and the Principles of Effective Intervention (PEI), the field is at a crossroads in defining the next era of programming for individuals who engage in intimate partner violence. Emerging questions about how to define risk, how to differentiate intervention and supervision needs, how to measure change, and what defines effectiveness, are central to establishing legitimacy in intervening with offenders. This session will review the recent literature and contextualize how the RNR principles are utilized in the Colorado Standards for the Evaluation, Treatment and Behavioral Monitoring of Domestic Violence Offenders. Limitations and implications for policymakers and practitioners will be discussed in addition to anticipated changes to the Colorado Standards to promote greater adherence to the PEIs.

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm EST Break

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EST Plenary 14: Enhancing the Effective Elements of Battering Intervention
Faculty: Christopher M. Murphy
Description: This presentation distills and summarizes evidence from risk prediction studies, controlled trial research, and qualitative studies of participant and facilitator perspectives to identify several key elements of effective battering interventions. The presentation will provide examples of evidence-based, context-specific, and trauma-informed strategies to enhance the effectiveness of battering intervention, including strategies to reduce participant hostility, enhance motivation to change, promote effective group facilitation skills, and enhance participants’ emotional and self-regulation.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm EST Plenary 15:Moving into Practice Based Evidence
: Jeremy Neville-Sorell
Description: Models of Evidence Based Practices (EBP) are rooted in a medical approach that replaces the “answering every symptom with a pill” approach to a model that applies critical thinking into treatment options where you weigh options, investigate leading remedies and work with your patient to create a plan. The research practice gap exists due to the very nature of the way in which EBPs are developed and validated. Clinical trials are often characterized by a high degree of structure and fidelity to the model under investigation, homogeneous populations (often white, middle class), controlled patient histories, and with a bias toward excluding individuals who don’t fit a strict set of criteria for participation in the research study. This causes limitations on how you work and limits the effectiveness to a defined population. Moving into a Practice Based Evidence (PBE) approach, the organization accounts for the messy and complicated real-life issues and things that cannot be controlled and employs strategies based upon principles and philosophies in the process of measurement and tracking success, not controlling how practice is delivered. PBE relies on services being organized and multi-faceted interventions that are designed to serve consumers with complex problems, in a comprehensive yet individualized manner, based on a clearly articulated theory of change, identification of the active agents of change, and the specification of necessary organizational supports.

4:30 pm EST Wrap-up and Raffle and End of Conference
For many years BISC-MI has concluded each conference with a drawing for conference door prizes. We count on attendees to make this event fun and successful! Please bring any item(s) that highlights your program, community, or that would make fun gifts to receive! Bring these to the registration table when you check-in to the conference. Thanks, in advance, for adding to the BISC-MI conference experience!

Many Thanks to our Conference Sponsors!

click here to learn about our sponsors