Maybe you never thought you’d find yourself in this situation: arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and facing possible criminal charges. In your mind, perhaps it was just an argument that got out of hand. Maybe this is the first time it’s happened. Or possibly it’s happened before. Maybe–heaven forbid–it points to a pattern of abuse. Of course, the first order of business is to navigate the legal issues surrounding your arrest and charges–but what about afterward? If you have a problem, what steps can you take toward treatment to ensure you don’t keep hurting the people you love?
In the State of California, if this is your first domestic violence offense, the first question about treatment might be answered for you. If you are convicted, you will likely be mandated to attend a state-approved Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP) for the next year as a condition of probation. But there’s been some question about the overall effectiveness of these programs–they seem to work well for some, not so much for others. What if you avoid conviction and aren’t mandated to attend a BIP, but you know there’s still an issue? Or what if you want to take responsibility for your own recovery, whether or not you attend a BIP?
The good news is that you do have some options. The actual type of treatment you should choose will depend in part on your personal circumstances, your background, and any root issues that may be triggering your violent behavior. Let’s explore some of the treatment options available to you.