Moving Away from Anger Management as a Response to Domestic Violence: A Thought from Margaret Halpin to CASA Volunteers

In every case CASA is appointed to, volunteers can play a crucial role in ensuring families are connected to the most appropriate services available to address their specific needs and circumstances. If you are working with a family impacted by domestic violence, it is important to advocate that anger management is not recommended as an intervention. Research shows that anger management programs are ineffective at addressing the dynamics of power and control that motivate domestic violence and can be counterproductive to changing abusive behavior. What is a better alternative? Batterers Intervention and Prevention Programs (BIPPs)— an effective, evidence-based response.

BIPPs are unique from other counseling and intervention programs in that they center around full accountability, survivor safety and education about power and control within a relationship. If you’re advocating in a geographic area where BIPPs are not available, consider recommending that the abusive partner engage in individual counseling with a therapist who specializes in domestic violence and may be able to integrate BIPP curricula into the treatment plan. Protective or nurturing parenting classes focused on how to parent in a non-coercive, healthy manner can also be a beneficial support for parents who are working to change a pattern of abusive behavior.  

To learn more about best practices around advocacy for families impacted by domestic violence, check out this 30-minute conversation with Claire Sudolsky of the Texas Council on Family Violence by clicking here.

Have questions? Contact Margaret Halpin, Texas CASA’s Learning and Development Manager for Pre-Service Training at or (512) 610-6103.