Definitions of Domestic Abuse
Batterers Intervention Program Description ("BIP")
BIP is a 48 week education and intervention program for adult men who have been abusive to their intimate partner/s. Classes are 90 minutes long and are limited to no more than 15 participants. BIP classes are currently held on Mondays from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. My BIP is certified by the Maine Department of Corrections.
History of my Batterers Intervention Program
In October 1995, after three years of community coordination and program development, I began facilitating a Batterers Intervention Program in Bangor, Maine (Penobscot County, Maine). My batterers intervention program is based on the Emerge model, and is certified by the Department of Corrections. Working closely with Spruce Run, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Human Services, and other individuals, agencies and organizations, my BIP is one component of a coordinated community response to domestic abuse.
I am active in the domestic abuse community in Maine as a:
- Member of the Maine Association of Batterer Intervention Programs;
- Mental Health Representative to the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse; and
- BIP Representative to the Maine Homicide Review Panel.
My Batterers Intervention Program has two goals:
- To promote the safety of victim/s and their children; and
- To offer education to men who batter about the effect of abuse on victim/s and their children.
Criteria for Successful Completion of the BIP
- can demonstrate an understanding of the definitions of domestic abuse;
- can give appropriate feedback to other class members;
- can integrate feedback received into future check ins;
- demonstrates an understanding of the effect of domestic abuse on his victim;
- demonstrates an understanding of the effect of domestic abuse on his children and/or any children who have witnessed his abuse;
- demonstrates an understanding of the effect of domestic abuse on his relationship with his victim;
- attends a minimum of 48 weeks of classes;
- attains a 95% or better on his post test; and
- has completed all of his financial obligations.
1. "Domestic abuse is a series of acts that:
a) causes the victim to do something she doesn't want to do; and/or
b) prevents her from doing something she wants to do; and/or
c) causes her to be afraid."
2. Domestic abuse is not about losing control, but a systematic method of asserting and
maintaining, power and control over an intimate partner, or a situation involving an intimate partner.
3. Characteristics of domestic abuse include:
a) blaming someone else for the abuse;
b) denying the abuse ever occurred; and
c) minimizing the extent and/or impact of the abuse.
Selected Examples of Physical Abuse
1. Physical Contact: slapped your victim; punched your victim; strangled your victim.
2. Restraint: mechanically and/or physically disabled your victim's car; blocked your victim's
exit from a room, car and/or home; prevented your her from using the telephone.
3. Weapons: used weapons against your her; threatened your victim with a weapon;
threatened to buy and use a weapon on her/her children and/or pets.
4. Physical Effects: caused bleeding; bruising; broken bones/teeth; miscarriage; disfigurement;
visits to a doctor/emergency department.
Selected Examples of Emotional Abuse
1. Criticism: criticized your victim's family or friends; criticized the way she looks, her intelligence or the way she does things; accused your victim of abusing you.
2. Economic Abuse: made your victim account for her spending; withheld child support
payments; taken money from your victim without her knowledge and/or against her will.
3. Emotional Withholding: withheld information from your victim and/or lied to her; did
not give your victim validation or attention; didn't respect your victim's feelings, opinions,
rights and/or privacy.
4. Harassment: followed your victim around; checked up on your victim; embarrassed your
victim in public.
5. Intimidation: claimed to be "the authority", or to know the truth; used your size to
intimidate your victim; thrown things at or toward her.
6. Isolation: turned mutual friends and/or family members against your victim; denied her
access to telephone or the mail; withheld the car or car keys from your victim.
7. Pressure Tactics: badgered your victim; shouted over your victim; rushed your victim to
8. Threats: threatened to injure or kill your victim, her friends and/or her family; threatened
to injure or kill yourself; threatened to call DHHS and report her as an unfit parent.
9. Used Children: criticized your victim to the children; undermined your victim's authority
with the children; denied paternity.
10. Abused Pets: withheld food, water and/or shelter to a family pet; hitting, kicking and/or
throwing a family pet; maimed or killed a family pet.
Selected Examples of Verbal Abuse
- "You can't do anything right"
- "No one will ever want you but me"
- "It'll never happen again"
Selected Examples of Sexual Abuse
1. Contact: pressured or forced your victim to have sex; had affairs; forced your victim to
engage in risky and/or unsafe sexual behaviors, expose her to sexually transmitted diseasses.
2. Coercion: pressured your victim to look at pornography; made degrading sexual comments
to your victim; made threats to have affairs.
3. Male Privilege: been the "master of the castle"; used the "good old boy network"; used "might vs. right".
If you feel you have been a victim of domestic abuse, please contact:
- Spruce Run (Penobscot County, Maine) at www.sprucerun.net or call 207 947-0496 or 1 800 863-9909
- Maine Coalition to End Domestic Abuse at www.mcedv.org or call 1 866 834-4357
If you feel you have been a victim of sexual assault, please contact: