Domestic abuse is one of the most painful and difficult types of crimes for victims, their families, and even for the abusers. And while there are, as there should be, many resources available for victims of domestic abuse, including hotlines, counseling centers, safe houses, and the like, there are relatively few programs that focus on helping the abusers understand and change their behavior. Even though courts frequently order someone charged with domestic abuse to attend counseling, the effectiveness of these programs can vary widely.
Batterer Intervention Programs in New Jersey
In New Jersey there are programs (sometimes called “Batterer Intervention Programs,” or BIPs) that provide in-person counseling to individuals seeking to change their abusive behavior. Here are some resources from around the state:
- Bergen County Alternatives to Domestic Violence
- Anzavar Domestic Violence Program
- DASI DECIDE
- Volunteers of America – Delaware Valley
- The New Jersey Association on Correction Monmouth County Batterers Intervention Program
How Effective Are These Intervention Programs?
As with most forms of behavior modification, much of the success of any course of treatment is up to the individual. Those with a strong desire to change their behavior and a willingness to do the work necessary to make that happen will tend to fare far better than those who are merely showing up for treatment because a judge has ordered them to do so.
Reflecting this reality, studies have shown the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs to be, at best, mixed. A 2003 Department of Justice report noted that 35 previous studies of BIPs had “consistently found small program effects” but pointed out that “evidence indicates that for most participants (perhaps those already motivated to change), BIPs may end the most violent and threatening behaviors.” Over the years, unfortunately, things have not changed: a 2021 report from New York State's Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence on “Accountability Programs for Those Who Harm” stated that “there remains a dearth of research on the efficacy of batterer intervention programs” and that “[n]one have been shown to be highly effective at reducing future violence.”
Why You Need an Experienced Advocate
If you have been charged with domestic abuse in New Jersey, you need the advice and help of an experienced attorney such as Joseph D. Lento. Attorney Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have the knowledge and understanding of the laws and court system in New Jersey that you need to understand your case and decide the best way to defend you against the charges you face. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team of professionals at the Lento Law Firm at 888.535.3686 or via our online contact form today. We are here to listen, understand, and help.