Batterers Treatment/Practice Model
The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. utilizes numerous aspects and the curriculum of the Emerge Treatment Model in the implementation of its domestic violence offender/batterers treatment. The Emerge approach is distinctive in the extent to which it is informed by the battered women’s movement and the degree to which our work with the batterer addresses the safety issues and other concerns of the battered woman and her children.
The Emerge philosophy is that abusers know how to be non-abusive in most situations, yet choose to be abusive with their partners and children in situations which benefit themselves in the short term. Most of their abuse is focused on their intimate partner and/or children, rather than a generalized violent response to everyone in their life. For many abusers, the majority of their relationships are conducted in a respectful manner, which indicates that they already know how to practice respectful treatment of others when they decide to. Abusers decide that it is socially acceptable to use abuse and control with their partner and children in order to get what they want in the immediate situation. They believe that the short-term gain is more important than the long-term losses they experience because of the abuse. The batterers groups challenge abusers’ belief systems and offer alternatives to their destructive beliefs. Non-abusive responses are based on the beliefs that abuse of a partner or child is not acceptable, that respect is not predicated on the responses of others, and that the long-term costs of abuse are too high to both the abuser and the victims.
The admission criteria for those interested in group therapy will include the following: the client meets criteria for a current DSM diagnosis and a minimum of two (2) of the following criteria:
Counseling may be voluntary or court-ordered
Client is able to establish and follow agreed-upon goals
There are no apparent risk factors for harm to self or others that interfere with the client’s ability to remain within the community
The minimum age for a client receiving batterers treatment is 17, and with no maximum age limitation
Client experiences personal distress and some functional impairment, but is still able to function within the community.
Prior to a client entering into group therapy, a diagnostic assessment will be conducted. During the diagnostic assessment a psycho-social history will be obtained, any records received from the referral source will be reviewed, the client identifies the reasons for entering services, a mental status exam will be completed, appropriate and necessary releases of information will be obtained, and consent for treatment will be signed. Also during the assessment, an individual’s abilities, interests, presenting problems, suicidal risks, previous treatment and medication information will be obtained. Information specific to the individual’s abusive behaviors will be explored, such as victim impact and lethality of abusive behaviors.
An individual service plan is then developed with the group member, which will include an identification of needs, desires, strengths, preferences, concerns, culture, support systems, and goals that the client would like to achieve through group therapy.
The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. believes in a multi-disciplinary team approach in the provision of batterers’ treatment. In order to best facilitate this necessary process, a thorough monthly evaluation will be completed for each group member. The evaluations will then be forwarded to the individual’s referral agency such as the court systems, probation or parole departments, or Job and Family Services Departments. Group members’ progress in treatment, issues addressed, concerns regarding their treatment process, and additional recommendations are reflected in the monthly evaluation. The CCFA believes that this collaboration between agencies will not only provide the best possible treatment to batterers, but will help to provide safety to their victims and community.
The clinicians facilitating the batterer’s treatment at The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc. are licensed counselors and social workers through the State of Ohio. Clinicians will also receive training from Emerge in Massachusetts when funding sources are available. Clinicians will continue to receive ongoing training in order to maintain the most up-to-date treatment methods and practice in the field of batterer’s intervention and treatment. Clinical supervision for these clinicians will be provided by the Clinical Services Director.
The male batterer’s intervention program/domestic violence offenders group will meet on a weekly basis for 90 minutes per session. The goals for this group will have participants acknowledge all of the different types of abusive behaviors they have participated in, how their actions have affected those around them, eliminate victim-blaming statements, identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors they need to avoid to keep from re-offending and begin interacting with others in a healthy non-abusive manner.
Groups are open-ended and will consist of two (2) or more group members with a maximum number of 12. Groups will be gender specific; there will be a male group and a female group.
Attendance, participation, completion of written homework and demonstration of achievement of the identified goals of this group will be mandatory to receive a successful discharge from this group. The average length of treatment for a member of batterers intervention program is 40 weeks. Family members may be encouraged to participate in the groups with the client, or a specific therapy session may be scheduled to include the family members that will be conducted outside of the group setting.
The female domestic violence group, Women Who Use Force, will meet weekly for 60 minutes per session. The goal for this group is to have participants acknowledge all the different types of abusive behaviors they have participated in, how their actions have affected those around them, eliminate victim-blaming statements, and identify thoughts, feelings and behaviors they need to avoid to keep from re-offending and begin interacting with others in a healthy, non-abusive manner.
Reasons for Termination
Poor attendance or repeated tardiness
Abusive, threatening or disruptive behavior at group meetings
Alcohol or drug abuse or failure to follow through on a referral for alcohol or drug services
Arriving at group under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Complete unwillingness to accept feedback
Failure to take a minimal level of responsibility for abusive behaviors
Harassment or retaliation against his partner with respect to the partner contact
Acts of physical violence or intimidation, or other major acts of abuse while in program
Breaking restraining orders
Using program against his partner
His behavior is worse after group meetings
Failure to comply with probation or parole orders
Failure to cooperate with program rules and requirements
Failure to pay program fees
Fees for Service
The cost for group therapy is based on the ADAMhs Board sliding fee scale; available to residents of Defiance, Fulton, Williams, and Henry Counties. Also, all forms of Medicaid are accepted for payment of services at The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, Inc.