As we actively work to end the cycle of abuse it is important that we work with everyone involved with the issue. Domestic violence is a learned behavior therefore, we feel it is important that we work with batterers to teach them non-violent alternatives to change their behaviors and belief systems supporting those behaviors.
Since 1981 Hubbard House has offered the First Step Batterers’ Intervention Program. First Step is a psycho-educational program that specifically addresses intimate partner violence. We offer programs for both men and women. Both programs include an enrollment session, an orientation session and twenty-four (24) weeks of classes. The curriculum addresses physical, economic, emotional and sexual violence as well as isolation, intimidation, the use of threats and coercion, minimizing, denying and blaming, the use of privilege as well as the impact of violence on children. Each of these topics are explored in depth. Participants are able to select the class location that is most convenient for them based on availability. Classes are offered at various times, days and locations. We offer morning, mid-day, and evening classes during the week and on weekends.
Prior to attending their first class, participants must also be assessed by a state certified assessor. The assessment is typically conducted within two weeks of enrollment and must be done prior to participants being able to attend their orientation session. The assessment provides critical information on each person in the program regarding any prior abuse in other relationships, any substance abuse issues or mental health concerns. It also assists in determining each participant’s ability to function in a class setting. Program participants are usually court ordered; however, the services are available to anyone who would like to learn the skills necessary to end their violent and controlling behaviors in their intimate relationships. The classes are taught by state approved facilitators and are typically co-facilitated by a female and male facilitator for the purpose of modeling a healthy partnership and the opportunity to explore both male and female perspectives.
Hubbard House tracks recidivism through the State Attorney’s Office and consistently 88% of participants who complete this program are not re-arrested during the three year tracking period.
For more information about the First Step programs please call (904) 354-0076 ext. 282.