Batterer intervention programs address anger but their primary focus is on helping people build skills for making non-violent choices. These programs also provide contact with partners, assess substance abuse and mental health status and make referrals.


Anger Management

Certified Batterer Intervention

Are programs state-certified?NoYes. Certification is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through statutorily driven guidelines and standards.
Who is served by the programs?Perpetrators of stranger or non-intimate violence.Specifically designed to work with domestic violence offenders.
How long are programs?Usually 8-20 sessions, with an average program lasting 10 sessions.At least 80 hours. Usually 40, 2 hour sessions.
Do programs contact victims?NoYes. If the victim chooses, the program will remain in regular contact with her and provide her with referrals, safety planning, and information to help protect her children.
Are programs monitored by a state agency?NoYes. By the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Are programs linked with a battered women's agency?NoYes. Each program must have a letter of agreement and formal linkage with a battered women's agency.
Do programs assess batterers for lethality?NoYes. While not a perfect prediction model, certified batterer intervention programs at the very least ask the questions which reveal how potentially lethal a batterer may be - such as if he keeps a gun at home or has ever been convicted of other violent offenses.
What is the emphasis of the intervention?Violence is seen as a momentary outburst of anger. So perpetrators are taught to use techniques like "time outs."Physical violence is seen as one of many forms of abusive behaviors chosen by batterers to control their intimate partners, including physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse. Batterer intervention programs hold batterers accountable for the violent and abusive choices they make. They teach batterers to recognize how their abuse affects their partners and children and to practice alternatives to abusive behaviors.
Are group facilitators trained about domestic violence?Subject to agency discretion.State standards specify 24 hours of specialized training at a certified site and 12 hours of observation.
How would I address grievances with this type of program?Talk to the director of the program.
  1. Talk to the director of the program.
  2. Call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at
What type of data collection occurs?
No statewide system.The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has developed a statewide data collection system.

Additionally, certified batterer intervention programs provide tailored services to meet the needs of linguistic and cultural minorities (with groups in Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Mandarin, and Cantonese), perpetrators with disabilities, lesbians who batter, DCF-referred batterers, and adolescent perpetrators.

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This information is provided by the Violence Prevention and Intervention Services within the Department of Public Health.