The choice to use violence is something that can, and must be changed. The language we use as professionals and organizations must be reflective of this foundational belief. As a movement, the term “batterer” has become commonplace to define a perpetrator of domestic violence; however, there has been a shift within our work as it relates to this term. When we call someone a “batterer,” it labels that person as nothing but, dehumanizing them and giving the impression that they cannot be anything else.
If we truly believe that people can change, and that a person using violence can live a life of non-violence through the work we do, we must acknowledge the problematic implications of our current terminology and replace it with something better. Organizations have begun to adopt the term “battering,” as it focuses on the behavior of the person choosing violence as opposed to labeling that person as a perpetrator. Doing this is more aligned with our philosophy and our understanding of this work.
Because of this, BISC-MI has decided to update our name to reflect this language change. Henceforth, our organization will be identified as the Battering Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan. It is important that we grow with our colleagues and adopt language that is reflective of the work we are doing and the philosophy we share as members of movement to end domestic and sexual violence.
The BISC-MI Board