Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (DVIP)
The ACADV is proud to announce a formal working group to develop our state's first-ever set of standards, guidelines, and best practices for domestic violence intervention programs or DVIP. The working group will meet every month from January 2022 through October 2022. The standards will be made public in October 2022, and a formal DVIP Advisory Board will be announced in early 2023 to handle complaints, make revisions to the standards, and discuss other DVIP-related issues.
In order for batterers to change their behavior, they must first acknowledge their abusive behavior and that they alone are accountable for making the choice to abuse. Successful intervention requires the monitoring of individual behaviors over time and a concentrated focus on individual responsibility, choice, and accountability. Below is general information on what we recommend for DVIP ((formerly known as batterers intervention programs or BIP) as well as what to keep in mind when referring a person to attend DVIP. Please note, anger management is not an appropriate or effective intervention for domestic violence offenders.
Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (DVIP)
Abuse and control are viewed as the primary problem
Focus on changing the beliefs and behavior of the participant
Abuse is seen as an effort to take & maintain control over the victim
Intervention is long-term (26 sessions minimum)
Each session is 1 hour in length, minimum
Repeated reminders of the damage caused
Victims are identified and accountability is paramount
Sexism & gender socialization are significant factors
Confrontational, denial is regularly targeted
Domestic violence is understood as a social issue
The program is part of a larger coordinated response to ensure the community is aware of resources and accountability measures are transparent
Anger Management Programs
Anger viewed as the primary problem
Focus on managing emotion and behavior regulation
Abuse is seen as due to a loss of control, with the victim blamed for "'provoking" an outburst
Intervention is short-term (hours vs. weeks)
Generally, no identified victims or development of empathy for the victim
Non-confrontational, denial is not addressed
Gender is not considered a contributing issue for violence within the relationship
Personal mental health issue
Although success ultimately depends on a batterer’s willingness to change, some existing batterer intervention programs may fall short of what is required for successful intervention. What follows are important considerations for judges, and others interested in this curriculum, in selecting credible domestic violence intervention programs, according to our state Standards.
- Group sessions with a recommended duration of 26 to 52 sessions (or longer). Twenty-six sessions are the accepted minimum. Longer participation allows for more exposure to the program material and more opportunities for professional staff to observe and monitor the batterer’s participation.
- It is not uncommon for batterers to test the system. To hold batterers accountable, any probation violation - no matter how small - must be addressed in immediate and meaningful ways. To do less may compromise victim safety and miss an opportunity to make an impact on the batterer, particularly regarding accountability and consequences.
- Programs or curriculum that focus on the following topics is considered inappropriate in addressing battering and abusive behavior. The ACADV strongly recommends programming based on the understanding that domestic violence is about power and control.
- Anger management
- Couple or family counseling
- Bringing the victim into contact with the batterer or disclosing confidential information about the victim to the batterer
- Blaming the victim for the batterer's abusive behavior or otherwise support the batterer's entitlement to abuse or control the victim.
- Identifing psychopathology, poor impulse control, addiction, childhood experiences and/or skills deficits as the primary cause of battering.
For those interested in further research, please find more information on this subject at the links below.
Arkansas Standards for Domestic Violence Intervention Programs
Recommended DVIP Providers
Central Arkansas Group Counseling
Wide array of treatment plans overseen by Licensed Mental Health Professionals. All curriculum is evidenced-based.
Hours: M-F 9am – 8:00pm + Saturday classes
Domestic Violence Prevention Inc.
Located in Texarkana, Arkansas
All offices open
Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Walker Counseling Services, LLC
208 Shoppingway Blvd. Ste. E., Wes Memphis, AR 72301
Evidence-based curricula & programs for DVIP:
This list is not exhaustive, other curricula may exist.
Are you a service provider of DVIP? Do you offer a version of DVIP in your clinic or agency? Would you like to be added to our list of programs?
Please register your program with us using the following form: https://forms.gle/9rKAniJtamHTN3CP9.
Pending review, your program may be added to our website and used as we make referrals for DVIP programs in Arkansas.