By Erin Stone
May/June 2019

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The first batterer interven­tion program, or BIP, was found in Boston in 1977 by men who wanted to combat the misogynistic attitudes they viewed as the root of abusive behavior. In the 1980s, under increasing political pressure from women’s groups, many states passed stricter domestic violence laws, resulting in more offenders facing mandatory arrest. As courtrooms filled with abusers, judges began to send them to BIPs. In 1994, Cali­fornia mandated BIPs for probationers with domestic violence convictions. Programs sprang up around the country, becoming one of the justice system’s primary ways of dealing with domestic abusers. Today, more than half a million men attend about 2,500 BIPs annually.