22 Reasons You Need To Take Domestic Violence Classes

Updated April 10, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Survivors of domestic violence can gain safety and independence by learning about this form of abuse within a relationship and seeking support as needed. Violent or potentially violent partners can also improve their behavior and prevent bringing harm to others by taking domestic violence classes themselves. There are many reasons why it can be crucial to take domestic violence classes, and we’ll be exploring 22 of those reasons in this article. 

Considering Attending A Domestic Violence Class?

What Are Domestic Violence Classes?

Domestic violence intervention programs are available for people who do not have the skills required for a healthy relationship. These classes can teach you those skills. They can also help you deal with the unique challenges you have in overcoming your patterns of abuse.

Although anyone can abuse someone else, men are more likely to abuse their partners than women. You might find online classes for domestic violence and abuse, or you may attend physical classes. If you go to domestic violence training, you might be in classes with people of all genders. People of all socio-economic classes, races, and age groups may come together to learn how to stop being abusive. 

Why You Need To Take Them

Often, domestic violence BIP classes are required when someone is charged with domestic violence. BIP stands for “Batterer’s Intervention Program” and is a program of classes that run anywhere from 12 to 52 weeks. The court can order you to take the classes to avoid going to jail or even assign them when you're in jail already. You can also attend domestic violence BIP classes voluntarily - you do not have to be sent after being charged. Perhaps you have recognized abusive behavior in yourself and want to address it before it gets worse. If you feel that you would rather not physically attend classes, perhaps taking classes online would be the right option for you.

Court ordered domestic violence classes might require you to go for a certain period. The court order might require that you physically attend, rather than taking classes online. Many people drop out as soon as they can. However, there are many reasons to continue for the long haul. Consider these:

  1. To Minimize Legal Issues

Abusing others can come with a hefty price tag. One cost is the money, time, and aggravation of dealing with legal problems that come up because of your unhealthy patterns of interacting with others. As you learn new ways of communicating and managing conflict, your trouble with the court will likely decrease.

  1. Your Job Success

You may be very successful in your career, but if you behave abusively to others, you could lose your job and stunt your career. Even if your job is the most important thing in your life, you can't always count on your co-workers and supervisors looking the other way. The current social climate of calling out and often firing employees for harassment and abuse of others on or off the job is a positive change, especially for those who have been subject to abuse. However, as someone who abuses others, it can spell the ruin of your career.

  1. You Can Have A Good Life, Too

There's likely a reason (or several) that you engage in abusive behaviors, and it probably isn't because it gives you the best possible life. There could be a few different reasons you have abused a person, such as having been abused as a child or learned the behavior from friends or family. Alcohol or substance misuse and addiction can escalate abuse, too. Perhaps you have turned to drugs or alcohol after becoming aware of what is happening in your relationship.

Physical violence does not help anyone, not even the person who is hurting their partner. Instead of accepting your behavior, try to fight back against it and change your ways. Once you realize that violence isn't doing you any good in the long run, and that you’re only hurting people, you can learn to manage your actions. In turn, you can begin to create healthy relationships and live a more satisfying life.

  1. You Can Have Healthy, Loving Relationships

You probably thought your relationship was wonderful and even perfect at first. Even now, you might not understand what's so wrong with it. Domestic violence programs aim to teach you what went wrong and what is still wrong, so you can learn what a healthy relationship looks like. You can develop the skills you need to have a relationship that's loving, secure, healthy, and stable for you and your partner.

  1. To Learn How To Manage Your Emotions

People who are physically violent are often skilled at controlling others. When it comes to controlling your own emotions, you may not be as effective. We often allow ourselves to believe we can't do anything about our actions because our emotions are so powerful. The truth is that you can learn to manage your emotions so that you can work toward a happier, more stable life.

  1. To Learn Healthy Communication

Unhealthy communication styles are common, not only for those who abuse others but also for people who are abused—and even others who aren't in abusive relationships at all. It is possible to learn healthier ways of expressing your feelings and being heard. In domestic violence classes, you can begin to learn communication skills that you can use in every facet of your life, including in your interpersonal and romantic relationships. 

  1. To See The Bigger Picture

The CDC and other organizations have been developing new domestic violence programs recently. Their goal is to approach the problem of domestic violence from many different angles and with a variety of interventions. The programs are designed to help you see the enormity and complexity of the problem so that you can more fully understand what it's about and how you might be able to change.

  1. To Find New Meaning In Life

According to existential theory, humans face several givens, such as freedom and responsibility, death, isolation, and meaninglessness. How we deal with the truth of these givens can help us live a more satisfying life. We have an innate need to find meaning. One thing you can gain from taking domestic violence classes is finding meaning through becoming a better person. You can live peacefully with others, have more control over your actions, and contribute to society as a whole. Living as a healthier, happier version of yourself may inspire you to keep the changes you make permanent. 

  1. You Can Teach Your Children Healthy Behaviors

The natural tendency of most parents is to help their children live a productive life. Even people who abuse others often want the best for their kids. To give them the best, though, you often need to help them reach their own highest potential. After all, kids need their parents. In classes for domestic violence, you can learn what you need to teach your children about emotions, behaviors, communication, and relationships. It may also help to take parenting classes so that you can learn how to give your children a positive start in life. You could take parenting classes online or find them nearby.

  1. To Get Past Your Childhood Pain

Not all people who had childhood pain or trauma turn it into a reason to abuse someone else. Not all people who abuse others have difficult childhoods, either. Yet, if you are an someone who had childhood pain, poverty, or were abused yourself, you're more likely to pass that hurt on to your partner and children.

Domestic violence classes give you a chance to deal with and move on from childhood trauma and adversity. The goal is not to think about the past as an excuse to be physically violent. Instead, it's to resolve problems that are holding you back from having healthy relationships. Parenting classes can also help you to work out the most efficient way to raise your children, but it can be important to take domestic violence classes to help you resolve your own childhood pain.

  1. To Overcome Mental And Emotional Health Problems

For many people who abuse others, mental health problems like depression and anxiety can play a part in the dysfunction that leads to violence. While you're in a domestic violence intervention program, you might address these problems directly or at least recognize that you need to get additional help from a counselor or doctor. You might also address these problems in anger management classes.

  1. To Find Peace With Who You Can Be

If you're physically violent with your partner, you tell them by your actions that they aren't worthy of being treated well. What are you telling yourself? If you understood your value as a human being, you would probably be more likely see their value, too.

Healthy self-esteem gives you the peace of mind to view others as different but not a threat to your self-concept. Domestic violence classes aren't designed to make you hate yourself. Far from it! They're designed to help you respect your own potential for good. This can be important if you want to work toward health and happiness for you as well as those you interact with. You may have hurt your partner in the past, but you don't need to keep doing so.

  1. To Open The Door To Equal Relationships

The most satisfying relationships are between equals. Domestic violence training teaches you to recognize the strengths and ability of others as well as your own. You learn to view yourself and your partner or former partner as equals who can work out problems together.

  1.  To Learn

Theoretically, you could study information about recovering from domestic violence on your own and take opportunities to practice the skills you learned through your own efforts. The problem with this is that there's a lot of information to sort through, whether you’re reading about it in books or looking for it online. You may not be able to find information on all the skills you'll need to develop, or you might read things online that are incorrect and only set you back. For most people, there's just too much to learn to do it efficiently on their own. 

Certified domestic violence classes bring together all the information and resources you need to start down the right path. If you are taking classes online, it may be useful to supplement these by attending physical classes too, so that you are meeting other people who understand what you are going through. Online classes can give you lots of information and sometimes it can help to have someone to help you work through the information, as well as someone to talk through your experiences with. If you would rather only take online classes, perhaps consider speaking to an online counselor as well.

Considering Attending A Domestic Violence Class?

  1. To Understand And Accept The Consequences Of Your Actions

Understanding what you've done to your partner and how it has impacted their life can help you begin to see why you need to change the way you behave and interact with others. In domestic violence classes, you can face the consequences of the violent behaviors you've chosen. Once you accept the fact that you caused pain to yourself and others, you can begin to understand how it's possible to change.

  1. To Realize You Have The Power To Not Abuse

Abuse is a choice. Physical violence is a choice. Domestic violence classes help you realize that you do have control over your behavior, your thought patterns, and the way you manage your emotions. You have the power to stop abusing, and these classes can help you learn how to do it.

  1. To See Through Your Controlling Behaviors

People who abuse others tend to use controlling behaviors to keep their partner in line. Perhaps surprisingly, many abusers don't realize this. They may think that they're behaving that way for their partner's own good. They may tell themselves that they're trying to keep the family together. No matter what excuse you give for controlling others through violence, you can't change until you understand that it's just a flimsy excuse. These classes can help you understand yourself in more depth and see your controlling behaviors for what they are.

  1. To Change The Way That You Respond To Your Partner

You might be in a domestic violence program after your partner got away from the violence you subjected them to. If so, you might still need to interact with them, especially if you have children together. On the other hand, if you're still in the relationship, these classes can help you learn and practice new ways of responding to your partner. 

  1. To Learn How To Behave With Respect, Kindness, And Support

You might believe that you respect your partner, but if you're being abusive, you're proving that you don't. Through the classes, you can learn why and how to respect your partner and treat them with kindness. You can learn how to consider their needs and offer your support in a more helpful way.

  1. To Learn How To Manage Conflict More Effectively

When you learn how to manage the conflicts in your romantic relationship in a healthy way, you also learn how to use those skills in other areas of your life. You can stop getting into shouting matches with your friends or arguing incessantly with your employer or supervisor. You can deal with conflicts at work directly rather than being aggressive or passive-aggressive. Rather than ignoring the way you feel, you can acknowledge your feelings along with the feelings of others in a calm, rational way.

  1. To Make Amends

Once you've been physically violent with a partner, you may feel very badly about yourself. You may have deep remorse for what you've done. Yet, as long as you keep abusing them, the pain can continue for both of you. One thing that can help your partner is to admit directly to them how you've hurt them. You can't undo the abuse simply by apologizing. Still, the apology can be necessary. It can help your partner feel more understood and respected if you apologize sincerely without expecting anything of them. For you, this can also be an important step because it allows you to mark an end to your abuse and move on. Taking domestic violence classes can help prevent you from hurting your partner again.

  1. To Begin The Long Process Of Change

Transforming yourself from someone who abused others to a kind and respectful partner doesn't happen overnight. It can take a while. You may never really be finished with this project, but the further you travel on a positive path, the healthier you can become. Domestic violence classes may only be the beginning, but they're a positive beginning that can set the tone for the rest of your journey.

Are You Ready For Change?

If you're interested in gaining all the benefits of being in domestic violence classes, you might be asking, "Where can I find domestic violence classes near me?" If money is an issue, your question instead might be "Are there free domestic violence classes near me?"

One thing you'll need to consider is whether you're required by a court to take the classes. Many of the classes available in local areas are focused on getting abusers certified for meeting this requirement. So, it can be important that you find a class that's genuinely helpful for you.

As for free classes, you might be able to find a church or other community organization that offers free classes. You can also get help in a free domestic violence support group.

Online Counseling With Regain

Changing behavior that you’ve always been accustomed to can be difficult. If domestic violence classes aren’t helping, you may benefit from speaking with a licensed counselor online through Regain. If you’re feeling ashamed of your behavior and are reluctant to discuss it in front of other people, the setting of online therapy might allow you to open up with more ease. You can choose to connect with your therapist through phone calls, video chats, or in-app messaging, according to what you’re most comfortable with. Moving forward is possible with the right support and encouragement. 

The Efficacy Of Online Counseling 

Online counseling has been shown to be an effective treatment option for those who have faced intimate partner violence (IPV). In one study, researchers examined the efficacy of an individually tailored internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy program for survivors of IPV. They found that the intervention successfully reduced symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety as well as improved participants’ quality of life. 

The Takeaway

Struggling with harmful behaviors does not mean they can’t be overcome. Domestic violence classes can provide an effective way to start changing how you treat and interact with others, particularly in your romantic relationships. Online classes can be a productive way to start, and even if you choose to only take classes online, you can still learn how to manage your behavior and find ways to prevent violence. No matter which type of classes you end up choosing, the fact that you're exploring these options can be a positive step in the right direction. Paired with online therapy and dedication to the process, you can learn how to become a stronger, more stable, and healthier individual with the tools and resources to live up to your highest potential.

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