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Are you abusing?

Abuse happens when one person tries to control or hurt another. Abuse is not only physical. It can also occur verbally and mentally. If you’re wondering if you may be an abusive partner, ask yourself the following questions:

Do You…

  • Use fear to control your partner?
  • Push, shove or throw your partner around (into walls, floors, etc.)?
  • Slap your partner with an open hand?
  • Make your partner ask your permission for things?
  • Control who your partner can see or be with?
  • Criticize your partner’s friends and relatives?
  • Grab or injure your partner by holding or squeezing too tightly?
  • Feel your partner spends too much time with family and friends?
  • Embarrass your partner?
  • Control your partner’s spending?
  • Try and strangle your partner?
  • Pinch your partner?
  • Blame your partner for your actions or behavior?
  • Force your partner to have sex with you?
  • Usually get your way?

If you identify with any of these behaviors, it may be helpful to consult with a Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP) for support. To learn more about BIPPs, see A Way Out below.

Why People Abuse

Domestic violence stems from a desire to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abusive people believe they have the right to control and restrict their partner’s lives, often either because they believe their own feelings and needs should be the priority in the relationship, or because they enjoy exerting the power that such abuse gives them.

Abuse is a learned behavior. Some people witness it in their own families growing up; others learn it slowly from friends, popular culture, or structural inequities throughout our society. No matter where they develop such behaviors, those who commit abusive acts make a choice in doing so. There are many people who experience or witness abuse who use their experiences to end the cycle of violence and heal themselves without harming others.

*National Domestic Violence Hotline

A Way Out

If you are exhibiting abusive behavior, whether it be physical, verbal, or emotional, the next step is contacting a Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP). Taking responsibility for your behavior and getting help through the right sources is key to living non-violently.

What is a BIPP?

A Battering Intervention and Prevention Program or BIPP is a court-approved educational program designed to give you the tools needed to achieve healthy intimate partner relationships. The program teaches you to recognize abuse, take accountability, and change unhealthy behaviors.

Can I volunteer to attend a BIPP?

Yes, you can. BIPPs in Texas encourage volunteer participation. To ensure you are receiving services that meet minimum standards, find, and attend an accredited program.

What is an accredited BIPP?

Programs accredited by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Community Justice Assistance Division (CJAD) must meet the requirements for court mandated BIPPs. An accredited program:

  • Must comply with specific guidelines
  • Must have trained employees
  • Must conduct criminal background checks on their employees
  • Must show that their program meets minimum state guidelines
  • Must provide at least 36 hours of classes over at least 18 weeks of group intervention
  • Must cover specific information in group
  • Can charge fees for attending groups
  • Believes that abusive behavior involves choice
  • Believes people who are abusive can choose to change their behavior

How do I find the nearest BIPP?

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice maintains a list of all accredited programs. To find a program near you, download the complete list of Accredited BIPP Programs or contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline