In our previous post, we showed a powerful video of a male batterer named Travis, who did commit to change and was very successful.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, your partner may be mandated to attend, or is considering attending our Batterers Intervention and Prevention Program to change abusive behavior. This is what you should know:
First – read about our program here.
What is Your Role?
Your partner is the only one who can commit to working on changing their behaviors and learning the value of equal relationships. You do not have a responsibility to change his behavior.
You may need to continue to assess your safety and seek assistance from our Women and Children’s Shelter. We also assist men and provide services to domestic violence victims even if they choose not to reside at the shelter. We can provide advocacy, therapy, safety planning, and an emergency safe house at no cost to you.
Will the Program Really Create Change?
If your partner acknowledges their abusive behaviors, commits to change that behavior to support a relationship based on equality and mutual respect, and completes the program, change may be possible.
However, even people who complete the program can regress to abusive behavior. Our recidivism rate is less than 5%, but completion of the program is not a guarantee that abuse will not occur in the future. For many who struggle with abusive behaviors, staying nonviolent is a lifelong process. You should continue to assess your safety.
Warning Signs Your Partner Isn’t Getting It
Your partner’s abusive behavior is rooted in a need to control your relationship. That pattern isn’t going to change overnight. They may no longer be physically violent, but may still try to exert control by manipulating you into doing what he wants, guilting you into sympathizing with them or using their participation in the program against you.
If you hear your partner making statements like these while he is in the program, you should be concerned that he isn’t making progress:
- I’m not the only one that needs counseling
- I’m not as bad as a lot of the other guys in there
- As soon as I’m done with this program, I’ll be cured
- We need to stay together to work this out
- Now that I’m in this program, you have to be more understanding
- You’re the reason I’m being forced to go to this program
Is He Changing?
Your partner will need to make the decision to work toward change on their own. Despite what they may say, there is nothing you can do to create this change.
While you are the best person to determine if your partner is responding to the program, you may want to ask yourself the following questions about their behavior:
- Can your partner listen to your opinion and respect it even when he disagrees?
- Does your partner respect your wishes about sex and physical contact?
- Is your partner supportive about your work, school, or other goals?
- Are you comfortable with the way your partner interacts with your children?
- Does your partner continue to blame or minimize their behaviors?
- Can you negotiate compromises without being humiliated or belittled?
- Do you feel afraid when you are with them?
For more information about Family Services Batterers Intervention and Prevention Program, please call (409)833-2668 ext. 104.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call our Crisis Hotline at (409)832-7575 or (800)621-8882.
This post was modified from a brochure written by the Texas Council on Family Violence.