Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

Information for Professionals

Abusive Partners

Abusive Partner Intervention Programs - New York State Guidelines1

Over the years, OPDV has funded abusive partner intervention programs, attempted to create state standards, and developed recommendations for best practice. However, these actions were met with some resistance. As a result, OPDV no longer recommends or endorses specific programs or models for abusive partner intervention programs. Nevertheless, our agency continues to monitor developments in the field and in various programs. This has allowed us to identify key characteristics that help distinguish between programs informed by best practices on abusive partner education and those that are not.

These guidelines provide a list of these characteristics and things to consider when assessing abusive partner intervention programs in the state of New York. They expand upon the foundation laid by OPDV, victim service and abusive partner education programs throughout the state over the past twenty-plus years. While this is not an all-inclusive list, it can provide assistance when deciding between several programs, or can be used as an information guide for those who wish to know more about abusive partner intervention programs.

1 New York Executive Law §576 (1)(a), along with other statutes, refers to these programs as “batterers’ programs.” In the decades since this legislation was enacted, calling these programs “batterers’” programs has become less useful as we have expanded our analysis to more clearly focus on aspects of domestic violence that may not be readily identifiable as “battering”. Today, although much of the legal response to domestic violence focuses on physical violence, we understand that other types of coercive control may be as damaging to victims as physical abuse, and that these, too, must be addressed in order to provide both increased safety to victims and accountability to offenders. In 2017, we would be more likely to use the term “abusive partners” rather than “batterers”, as this term is more in line with current analysis and practice.