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Journal of Interpersonal Violence



Involvement in treatment for intimate partner violence and abuse (IPV/A) perpetration is often limited to those who are arrested and convicted of domestic violence offenses. Consequently, the majority of research into partner abuse intervention programs (PAIP; also known as batterer intervention programs) has utilized data from court-mandated participants despite the existence of voluntary programs. Therefore, little is known about the experiences of voluntary and non-court mandated PAIP participants. Methods: Using an interpretive phenomenological analysis, this study sought to understand how participants perceived their lived experience in seeking help from a voluntary PAIP serving Latino men. Men volunteering for this study participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews (N=16). Results: The findings reveal that the decision to engage in a PAIP voluntarily is process laden. Participants described the process as involving a breakdown in the health of their intimate relationship, reaching tipping points at which avoiding help was no longer an option, and locating specific information on where to seek treatment. The findings also reveal that once involved most participants anticipated and desired to engage in the program long-term. Discussion: This study illuminates the many factors that may contribute to decision making when men who have acted abusively seek help. Strategies for increasing voluntary PAIP participation may involve enhancing marketing of services or information for accessing services, and personal relationship building between facilitators and potential participants. [This is a pre-print of an article published by SAGE in Journal of Journal of Interpersonal Violence on November 5, 2019, available online:]


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work

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Social Work Commons