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FSA Service Spotlight: Batterers’ Intervention Service

Since 1895, Family Service Association of NEPA has helped local children, individuals, families and communities achieve their full potential. In honor of their 125th anniversary, this nonprofit organization will share the stories behind their services. Join us every month to learn more about their diverse programs and how you can support their vision of building resilient families and thriving communities—one person at a time.

“The more that we choose not to talk about domestic violence, the more we shy away from the issue, the more we lose.” – Russell Wilson

Through the Batterers’ Intervention Service (BIS), Family Service Association of NEPA (FSA) shines a light on domestic violence. The BIS group is an educational program for men who want to take responsibility for their own behavior and learn skills to start that change now.

Using the Duluth model, “Creating a Process of Change for Men Who Batter,” group facilitators lead men in discussions on their choice to use violence as a means to control their partner. They also talk about the beliefs at the root of this behavior. Over the course of the thirty-week program, the group discusses various themes such as respect versus using emotional abuse; trust and support versus using isolation; and honesty and accountability versus minimizing, denying and blaming.

“I learned to try alternative ways instead of my way or the highway,” said one man who completed the program.

“Learn how to respect your partner, and make sure you listen to what your partner has to say. Never call someone bad names, because it will affect them in the future,” noted another.

Those who have successfully completed the program have found it impactful and life-changing.

“This class makes you realize how people can change and be better,” said a former BIS participant.

Not every participant will take accountability for their actions. However, it’s important that they’re given the chance to make the choice to change. The BIS group gives every participant that chance to recognize how their actions have affected their partner and affords them the tools to make better choices in their relationships.

BIS strikes at the heart of FSA’s mission statement of empowering individuals to achieve their full potential through building healthier relationships. Healthier relationships at home help everyone thrive, not only in their personal lives, but also in their communities. By creating a dialogue about domestic violence, FSA is helping to create stronger communities through accountability and responsibility.

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