More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States report experiencing a form of intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetimes, and women of color, especially Indigenous and Black women, report this at higher rates. Despite the widespread impact of IPV, public health-oriented programs and initiatives to intervene before violence occurs are not widely available and used, or they are largely understudied and underfunded. Currently, Batterer Intervention Programs (BIPs) serve as the primary intervention for those who cause harm, and are designed to hold individuals who cause harm accountable and engage them in changing their behaviors. In California, these programs are mandated and overseen by law enforcement agencies, which results in these programs having a criminal-legal orientation.
In this briefing, we explored several innovative, public health-oriented practices and policies that California may consider to re-imagine the role of BIPs and prevent IPV across the state. Speakers include Marc Philpart, Managing Director at the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, Alicia Virani, JD, Director of the Criminal Justice Program at UCLA School of Law, and Skipp Townsend, founder and Executive Director of 2nd Call. Opening remarks were provided by California State Senator Sydney Kamlager (District 30) and California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra (District 17). This event was co-sponsored by the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, with support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation.