The Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) at Denton County Friends of the Family is one of the best, and not purposefully kept, secrets of our agency. The majority of clients served at DCFOF are victims and children, but BIPP clients are those who’ve chosen to use violence (be that physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual) to hurt their partners. What we know is: abuse is a choice, 100% of the time. Each choice we make is a unique decision and at any point we are completely capable of making better ones.
We have BIPP groups available to both men and women in our community who need help learning to make better decisions about how to treat their families, specifically intimate partners. About 98% of clients in our BIPP are court-ordered to be here as part of their probation or parole. During the 30 week psycho-educational program, perpetrators of domestic violence discuss topics nine topics: accountability, respect, sexual respect, parenting, communication, trust, non-violence, partnership, and non-threatening behavior.
"I have had so many clients over the years who thought abusive behavior was normal," says Hillarye Hightower, Director of BIPP and Community Education. “They've shared that their fathers or uncles were abusive, their friends' fathers, and so many other men in their lives set that example for them. We know domestic violence is a learned behavior. There are times when it can feel difficult to work with those who choose to use violence, but I believe in the power of change, and education is what really changes the future for our community."
Many folks who choose abusive behavior believe that they need anger management treatment instead of BIPP. Although anger management is a great tool for some people, it is not the tool most helpful for abusers. Statistics tell us that battering/abuse are not about anger but instead are about one person believing it is their right to maintain power and control over an intimate partner (or former intimate partner). If a person does not abuse their coworkers, parents, or strangers, but does hurt their partner, that does not lend itself toward an anger management problem but a domestic violence problem. If someone does not say/do violent or abusive things to other people, but does them to a partner, then they ARE capable of controlling their anger, and are CHOOSING not to when it comes to their partner. It is very important to take responsibility for those choices and work to change them.
Every day is a new opportunity to improve oneself and one's relationship. No matter what has happened in the past, people are capable of change.
Do you hurt your partner, or does someone you know hurt their partner? Would you like help changing that behavior? Call 940-387-5131 and ask to sign up for or for more information about our BIPP program.