Ohio Standards for Batterers Intervention
The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) is a statewide coalition of domestic violence programs, supportive agencies and concerned individuals organizing to ensure the elimination of domestic violence. Since 1989, ODVN has been providing technical assistance, resources, information and training to all who address or are affected by domestic violence, and promoting social and systems change through public policy advocacy, public awareness and education initiatives.
The Batterers Intervention Committee (BIC), an existing committee of the ODVN, was first established in 1991. The BIC is mainly comprised of batterers intervention program (BIP) representatives, victim advocates, and legal system representatives, such as attorneys, probation and police officers. The members represent diverse regions of Ohio as well as diverse professional backgrounds. The BIC has always worked closely with victim advocates through ODVN’s statewide network of domestic violence programs.
The BIC created the first Standards for Batterers Intervention in the early 1990s and published the revised version in 1998. Although adherence is voluntary in Ohio, the Standards continue to provide direction and support in program development for BIPs. The BIC also developed an addendum to the Standards, The Self-Evaluation Tool for Batterers Intervention Programs, in 2002, to assist BIPs and other community agencies assess and improve their local efforts. In 2009, the BIC started the process of the second revision of the Standards. It was timely to update the document as knowledge and information on batterers intervention has evolved.
The Standards are based on a feminist perspective which believes that domestic violence is gendered in nature: it is an instrument of oppression that arises from the patriarchal cultural and institutional beliefs that support men’s power over women. It is important to note that the patriarchy does not only support sexism but also supports racism, heterosexism, classism, and other oppression that allows one group’s dominance over another. In this revision, as we strive to create a document that addresses the growing diversity in Ohio with a feminist analysis in mind, we have added a section on working with marginalized communities, including women who use force (WWUF), immigrant/refugee, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) and other communities.
While the Standards go through revisions time to time, the main theme of the Standards must remain the same: BIPs need to work within the coordinated community effort in keeping victim safety first and holding batterers accounta