To aid in the elimination of domestic violence by providing standards for effective and accountable intervention programs t change the behavior of batterers, while protecting women and children.

2.0 Declaration of Principles
Wayne County subscribes to the following principles:

2.1 Domestic Violence is a crime rather than a result of or response to a failing relationship. It is no less a crime than an assault on a stranger.

2.2 Domestic Violence cannot be condoned, and batterers must be held accountable for their behavior.

2.3 The safety of victims must be of the highest priority. Their input and the potential for further harm to them must always be of utmost consideration when making policy/program decisions.

2.4 The use of violence is a learned behavior and is therefore changeable.

2.5 Programs shall not focus on saving relationships, but on ending violence.

2.6 There should be separate intervention programs for men and women who batter. This first set of standards are for programs for male batterers since they constitute the vast majority of batterers.

2.7 All batterers shall be provided services regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preferences and physical or mental disability. Providers shall make every reasonable effort to provide for individual needs.

2.8 Program providers shall cooperate with the interrelated agencies, such as law enforcement, shelter staff, other advocates, prosecuting agencies, the judicial system and corrections. are superior to women and have the right to dominate them. To the extent that communities support this belief, batterers will continue to engage in abusive behavior.

2.9 A principan cause for the high prevalance of woman is the batterers' acceptance of the belief that men are superior to women and have the right to dominate them. To the extent that communities support this belief, batterers will continue to engage in abusive behavor

2.10 Communities must empower battered women by providing resources which enable them to leave abusive relationships if they choose.

2.11 As knowledge about current, appropriate intervention methods are discovered, philosophical and programmatic changes may be necessary to improve programs.


For the purpose of these Standards, and as a reference for those who provide treatment to perpetrators of domestic violence, the definition of domestic violence shall be understood as follows:

3.1 Abuse means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in a reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to him or herself.

Domestic Violence is abuse committed against a spouse, a former spouse, person residing or having resided with the offender or a person with whom the offender has had a child in common.

While physical abuse is generally the reason men are referred or court-mandated to the programs, physical abuse rarely if ever occurs in isolation without abusive and/or controlling behaviors - some legal, some illegal. Those behaviors include use of threats, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, manipulative use of children, isolation and coercive enforcement of sex role stereotypes.

In presenting definitions of woman abuse, the program should explain that men use violence and abuse as methods to gain power and control over their partners.

3.2 There is no behavior on the part of the victim that causes or excuses domestic violence. The perpetrator bears the sole responsibility for his actions.

3.3 Substance abuse or psychopathology do not diminish responsibility for violence.


4.1 Intervention Program

a. Each intervention program provider shall be a Michigan Corporation, in good standing, with a governing board.

b. Each intervention program provider shall have professional liability and any other insurance required by Michigan law.

c. Service providers, agencies and individuals conducting batterer's groups must meet standards outlined by professional groups with which they are affiliated, e.g., the American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, or the American Medical Association, to the extent that those are consistent with the protocols in this document.

d. Each program shall maintain open, cooperative working relationships and communications with other agencies, and particularly the local probation departments.

e. Each program shall establish a working relationship with the courts, police departments, prosecuting agencies, and particularly the local probation department.

f. Each program shall have the responsibility to report to the court and/or local police department continued acts or threats of violence reported by any offender who is court- referred into a program. Program providers have a statutory duty to warn the victim if the perpetrator of abuse poses a threat to the victim.

In Michigan, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers by statute have the "duty to warn" a potential victim that serious harm is likely to be inflicted upon him or her, if there exists a special relationship with the potential assailant. (See Appendix A[MCLA339.1610 (20, (3) 330.1750 (5). Section 946 of the Mental Health Code, Act. No 258 of the Public Acts of 1974, section 330.1946 of MCLA].)

Duty to warn is a critical issue for domestic violence agencies that have batterer's re-education/counseling programs. In the domestic violence literature there are significant numbers of cases where the batterer told his therapist he was going to kill his ex-wife, partner, etc., and then did it. For programs that provide batterer's re-education/counselling the responsibility of "duty to warn" is essential to ensure that survivors are not re-assaulted or killed by their batterers. to these issues, other traditional social service agencies providing batterer's counseling may not immediately recognize how lethal threats made by a batterer in a counseling relationship can be. Domestic violence programs for this and other reasons must work closely with batterers re-education programs to stop violent behavior and to protect the victim.

g. Each program provider shall clearly document efforts to report recurring violence.

h. Each program provider shall maintain the confidentiality of victims, unless it is specifically waived by the victim, or there is reasonable cause to believe that the victim may be in imminent danger. Programs shall not coerce victims to waive their right to confidentiality.

i. Each program provider shall maintain separate files on victims and perpetrators.

j. Each court mandated batterer shall sign a waiver of confidentiality upon entering the program. Such waiver shall, at the minimum, allow the treatment program to notify the victim and the court of the batterer's participation in the program.

k. Each program provider shall make every reasonable effort to inform the victim about the batterer's attendance at the program; the program must inform the victim as to noncompliance.

l. Program providers shall have access to the batterer's criminal history record, police records and court files.

m. Each program provider shall develop a written agreement with its referring courts about procedures when the batterer re-offends or fails to comply with the treatment contract.

4.2 Program Staff.

a. All staff employed in a batterers program must be violence free in their own lives. No program shall hire an individual who has been a perpetrator of domestic violence unless the program director is satisfied that the potential staff member has successfully completed a certified batterer's treatment program and has had no further arrests for a minimum of 6 months after completion of the batterer's program.

b. All staff employed in a program must not use illegal drugs or alcohol to an extent or in a manner that is determined to impair the individual's ability to function in a responsible, professional manner.

c. Staff members employed in a batterer's program shall not have a criminal record or any other history of conduct, criminal or otherwise, deemed to impair the individual's ability to provide services.

d. The program provider shall provide orientation for all new employees to acquaint them with the program's philosophy, organization, treatment program, policies, procedures and goals.

e. Programs shall have staff who are reflective of ethnic and linguistic minorities within the communities served.

f. Program staff must be educated on sexism, racism, and homophobia and their impact on violent attitudes and behaviors.

4.3 Staff Standards

All persons providing intervention with perpetrators of domestic violence must meet the following criteria:

a. Licensing Requirements: staff members directly involved in individual counseling, group counseling, or facilitating the educational component of the program, shall be licensed, certified or registered by the State of Michigan in the performance of those services.

b. All supervisory personnel shall have additional training in and experience in working with both batterers and victims of domestic violence.

c. Each program is required to have at least one person in a supervisory position who has experience working with batterers victims of domestic violence totaling 3 years.

d. Each program is required to have at least one person in a supervisory position who has three (3) years of experience in group facilitation.

e. Each staff member shall have participated in a minimum of 24 hours of training in domestic violence from an established batterer's treatment program provider. ongoing staff training with seminars, workshops, conferences, etc. presented by experts in domestic violence.


The standards which follow are the minimum to which a program must adhere to receive court referred clients.

5.1 Intake

The provider must have necessary preliminary information prior to engaging in an evaluation process to determine the suitability of the batterer for their program.

5.2 The program provider shall require the following information from the probation department and/or the batterer at intake:

a. Name, address and phone number of perpetrator.

b. Social security number

c. Medical insurance, if any

d. Employer

e. Partner and/or victim's name, address and phone number

f. Copy of criminal records

g. A history of substance use

h. A history of any psychiatric illness including but not limited to threats or ideation of homicide or suicide, history of depression, paranoia

i . A history of the perpetrator's infliction of abuse as defined in Section 3.0.

j. Police reports on current charge and prior calls to the police department if available.

k. The perpetrator's possession or access to weapons. rofile of the batterer's violent behavior shall be developed, based on descriptions from criminal justice agencies, the victim(s), and other treatment providers. If it is determined, based on the above, that the batterer will not be appropriate for the program, it will be indicated to the court at this time.

5.3 One week after notification from the court that a batterer has been referred to a program as a condition of probation, if the batterer has not contacted the provider, the provider shall contact the probation department.

5.4 Batterer Evaluation At intake, an evaluation of the batterer shall be conducted and shall include, but not be limited to, the following.

a. Obtaining background information on the batterer, violence used in his family of origin, his partner(s), his relationships, criminal history and pending court actions.

b. Obtaining from the batterer a descriptive history of his use of violence and other abuse behaviors including those both within and outside intimate relationship. Special attention shall be given to possible incidents of child abuse or neglect by the batterer.

c. The degree of possessiveness by the perpetrator toward the victim including if possible any forced periods of isolation inflicted on the victim by the perpetrator.

d. Assessing batterers for severe mental health problems or disruptive behavior, screening them out of the program and, when possible, referring to appropriate treatment.

e. Screening for chemical dependency problems and arranging if necessary for further chemical dependency evaluations and treatment prior to entry into group.

f. In so far as possible, assessing the degree of current risk to the battered woman or others. This should include information gathered directly from the victim about the batterer's use of violence and other abuse behaviors, provided such contact with the battered woman can be done safely.

g. Determining the precipitation incident.

h. Identifying the referral source.

5.5 The program must evaluate the batterer's potential for lethality, with particular responsibility to warn victims deemed to be at risk (see Section 4. If, Duty to Warn). All victims must be warned that lethality or continued violence is impossible to predict.

5.6 The intake evaluation process should be no less than three (3) hours in two (2) separate sessions; not in the same twenty-four(24) hour period. The process shall concentrate on the batterer's suitability for the program. Data to be considered are the batterer's:

a. Attendance

b. Cooperation with the rules

c. Participation

d. Freedom from violent/abusive behavior

e. Compliance with remaining alcohol or drug free during sessions.

5.7 Contracting

The program should establish a contract which clearly spells out the obligations of the batterer to the program and review the contract with the batterer.

5.8 Substance Abuse

If the initial intake evaluation indicates drug/or alcohol abuse, this should be addressed wither prior to, or in conjunction with, the batterers' programming. Referrals to other agencies for specialized treatment should be initiated in those circumstances. Violence cannot be successfully addressed without treating the substance abuse problem. However, treatment for substance abuse may not be substituted for a batterers program. Batterers shall not be under the influence of drugs and alcohol when participating in group session. eglect of Children and Other Family Members. If the intake evaluation or subsequent contact causes staff members to have reasonable cause to suspect or to learn of actual incidents of child abuse or neglect, that information must be reported to the Department of Social Services. The program shall refer suspected cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation to the Department on Aging's Elder Abuse and Neglect program.

5.9 Abuse and Neglect of Children and other family members

If the intake evaluation or subsequent contact causes staff members to have reasonable cause to suspect or learn of actual incidents of child abuse or neglect, that information must be reported to the Department of Social Services. The program shall refer suspected cases of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation to the Department on Aging's Elder Abuse and Neglect program.

5.10 Program provider must report back to the court/probation department any failure to attend, or failure to cooperate and participate by the referred perpetrator, as it occurs.


Each program must have a clearly defined payment policy including provisions for indigent batterers. Batterers are expected to contribute to the payment of the program. Section 4a (2) of M.C.L.A. 769.4a provides for (the accused to pay the reasonable costs of the program. 6.1 The fee for the intake and evaluation phase of the program may be charged separately from the fees for the program.

6.2 Fees for group programs shall be based on a batterer's ability to pay and thus enabling the batterer to afford the program.

6.3 Indigent batterers may negotiate a deferred payment schedule, but shall pay at least a nominal fee for the program at the discretion of the program provider.

6.4 The payment of the fee may be made a condition of probation.


7.1 Groups

a. Composition of groups shall be restricted to batterers of domestic abuse who are of the same gender. Heterosexual groups are not appropriate for gay men who are convicted of domestic abuse. Programs should identify counseling professionals in the community who are knowledgeable about gay and lesbian issues and domestic violence in order to make appropriate referrals. A Program of no less than thirty-nine (39) hours spread over a period of no less than twenty-six (26) weekly sessions separate from the intake evaluation.

b. A batterer shall attend a program of no less than thirty-nine (39) hours spread over a period of no less than twenty-six (26) weekly sessions separate from the intake evaluation process.

c. Groups shall provide ample opportunity for participation in discussions and for feed back to each perpetrator.

d. Ongoing groups, for repeat or felony offenders or for advance work shall consist of not more than twelve (12) participants. Groups for first offenders deemed suitable, and others evaluated as suitable, shall have a maximum of eighteen (18) participants.

7.2 Educational Component

The curriculum of the educational component shall at a minimum include:

a. Identification, confrontation and change of abusive and controlling behaviors to victims including partners and children. All forms of physical abuse and intimidation shall be identified and challenged. Specific attention to emotional, mental, sexual and economic abuse, male privilege and the impact of domestic violence on children shall also be included.

b. Identification, practice and discussion of the effects of violence and abuse on victims, including children who witness such abuse. The short and long term effects of violence on partners and children shall be enumerated. Batterers shall be taught that they are expected to take responsibility for creating these consequences. The program staff shall understand, present and teach batterers to see the perspective of the victim.

c. Confrontation of the excuses for abuse. This shall include the fact that abuse is the sole choice and responsibility of the batterer's abuse is never justified.

d. Identification and practice of cooperative and non-abusive forms of communication. Batterers are expected to learn non-abusive and responsible ways of treating their partners and children.

e. Identification of cultural and social influences that contribute to abusive behavior. These issues shall not be allowed to excuse or justify individual responsibility for abuse. terer's term of probation, unless extended by the court.

7.3 Participation

Mandatory participation by the batterer shall not extend beyond the batterer's term of probation, unless extended by the court.

7.4 Individual Counseling

It is recognized that a limited number of batterers may need individual counseling. Individuals who are inappropriate for group, such as a person who is actively psychotic in behavior, may be provided individual treatment for their domestic violence behavior, accompanied by medical and psychiatric care.

7.5 Inappropriate methods of Intervention

a. Programs may include but shall not emphasize any of the following: fair arguing "education", getting in touch with emotions, male responsibility, conflict resolution, or anger management.

b. Couple and Family Counseling

Traditional couples counseling, family therapy and mediation are inappropriate as primary intervention for batterers. Such approaches, where partners are seen jointly, avoid fixing sole responsibility on the batterer and blame the victims (in whole or in part) for the abuse. These approaches may perpetuate the abuse by giving batterers a sense of support for their actions and may endanger the victim by placing her in the position of self- disclosing information that the batterer may subsequently use against her. They minimize power differences between family members and leave victims at a disadvantage.

c. Psychoanalytic individual or group therapy which centers causality of violence in the past of the perpetrator.

d. Communication enhancement groups or techniques.

e. Anger management groups which lay primary causality on anger

f. Systems theory approaches which treat the violence as a mutually circular process

g. Addiction counseling models which identify the violence as an addiction and the victim as an enabler or a co-dependent.

h. Gradual containment and de-escalation of violence.

i. Theories or techniques which identify poor impulse control as the primary cause of the violence

j. Methods which identify psychopathology on either parties part as a primary cause of violence

k. Theories or methods which, in any way, bring the victim into the circle of responsibility for the batterer's behavior .


Programs shall have clearly defined discharge criteria incorporated in the contract provided to the batterer and the program at the intake process.

8.1 Programs completion shall include:

a. A batterer shall have completed the program according to the contract;

b. A batterer has accepted responsibility for violent behavior;

c. A batterer has completed, or will continue in , an allied program, if required;

d. A batterer has met the financial obligation for the treatment.

8.2 Program responsibilities upon completion:

a. The program shall notify the referring court/probation department of the perpetrator's attendance;

b. The victim shall be notified by the program provider of the batterer's completion of the program. The notification shall indicate only that there has been contractual and court compliance. The program shall advise the victim that discharge is not predictive of recidivism.

8.3 Removal from the program:

a. A batterer shall be removed form the program upon violation of a contractual provision such as failure to attend two (2) or more scheduled sessions without a valid excuse or the use of illegal drugs or excessive use of alcohol, or other behavior such as sleeping or disruptive acting out.

b. A batterer shall be removed and returned to the court if the batterer exhibits an imminent, subtantial threat to the victim, other batterers or program personnel or property.

8.4 Program responsibilities upon removal from the program:

a. Criminal Court/probation department and Prosecutor's Office notified of the removal from the program and why;

b. The victim shall be notified.

c. The program shall have a written policy available to the court regarding the program's responsibility for accepting batterers that have not completed the program or are reordered into the program.

Standards Adopted September, 1995