If you're convicted of domestic violence, you may be ordered to attend a Batterer Intervention Program (BIP). While you should contact a domestic violence attorney for advice tailored to your situation, here's a look at how BIPs work and how they might help you.
What Are Batterer Intervention Programs?
BIPs are designed to prevent domestic aggressive or abusive behavior. The goal is to help individuals explore why they acted in a certain way and teach them alternatives to violent actions.
- You may be ordered to attend a BIP if you're placed on probation following a domestic violence conviction
- If you fail to complete the program, the court may consider this a breach of your probation, which could lead to further penalties.
Here are some examples of BIPs so you can get a sense of how they work:
- Allegheny County: Allegheny County residents can self-enroll in BIPs or be referred to one of over 20 classes. The courses take anything from three to six months to complete, and they help individuals address the underlying issues which may cause them to act violently.
- Cumberland County: The AMEND Program consists of 26 sessions to help men control their emotions and confront the cause of their violent and abusive behavior.
Although BIPs are all a little different, they have one common goal: helping individuals get their lives back on track after a domestic violence allegation.
It's sometimes possible to sign up for a BIP or similar program voluntarily without a court order. For example, if you're dealing with a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order, you might want to address certain behaviors before the situation escalates to a more serious criminal charge. Your PA domestic violence attorney can help you explore your options.
Are Batterer Intervention Programs Helpful?
BIPs have three major benefits:
- They give individuals hope for the future, which promotes a more positive outlook
- By challenging learned behaviors, perpetrators may heal from old emotional or psychological wounds
- BIPs encourage people to take responsibility for their actions which can help them feel empowered and more in control of their lives
Batterer Intervention Programs may not be right for every individual. However, they could help you understand why you might have acted in a certain way and how you can build more positive, loving relationships with the people you care about.
PA Domestic Violence Attorney | Lento Law Firm
If you're dealing with domestic violence charges, remember this: with the right support and legal counsel, you can move forward with your life.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney in PA, Joseph Lento understands how significant a domestic violence conviction can be, and he wants to help you achieve the best possible outcome, so your future is not defined by these allegations. For representation from a compassionate domestic violence attorney, call the Lento Law Firm on 888.535.3686 or leave a message online.