Information For Participants

Intimate partner and family violence exact an immeasurable toll on families in every community in South Carolina. In recent years, the problem has no longer been accepted as a private matter, but as one that society as a whole should address though a coordinated community response that utilizes a criminal justice intervention to hold people accountable for their use of violence towards their partners and families.

Programs like this one, that provide an opportunity for participants to both understand the damage their past behaviors have caused, and to learn new non-abusive relationship behaviors, have become an integral part of this community response.

Frequently Asked Questions

“How do I enroll?”

Call our administrative office at 803-791-1322 and we will arrange your first appointment based on where you live. In urban areas, there may be more than one location, although you may be required to attend an orientation at a central location before you are assigned to a specific group. Sometimes groups may be full and you may have to choose an alternative site.

“I haven’t been arrested or been ordered to attend the program, may I still enroll?”

Yes. If you have identified that your behavior in a relationship has become abusive towards your partner, but law enforcement has not yet intervened, you may choose to enroll in the program on a voluntary basis.

“Do I have to pay fees?”

Yes. Programs such as this are completely funded by client fees–your fees pay for the group leaders, materials, documentation, the notification of courts of your attendance and other program costs. We also believe that you will benefit from the program to the degree in which you are invested in it, and that means, in part, paying a reasonable fee for services. The total fees are considerably less than the large fines that judges are able to impose for convictions for Criminal Domestic Violence offenses and are paid weekly over the course of the program.

Current fees are $50 for the first/orientation session, and $25 at each remaining session. Participants who have a demonstrable financial hardship may be eligible for fee reductions.

“Why do I have to attend a group? I’d rather do individual counseling.”

The group format facilitates the educational format of the program and also serves to counter the belief that domestic violence is a private matter. All group members are expected to preserve the confidentiality of their peers and may be asked to leave the program if they violate this. Groups are led by an experienced Masters level professional, but all participants are expected to appropriately participate in the materials covered, and to respectfully confront others in the group.

In order for a batterer intervention program to meet the state statutes governing sentences for CDV offenses, a participant referred by the court must “attend weekly group sessions unless there is documented, clinical reason for another modality.”

If it becomes apparent that you need help with other issues, such as drug or alcohol treatment, or mental health interventions, we will discuss this with you and make referrals to specialists in those fields.

“How is the court notified of my status?”

We notify the court in writing when you complete the program, or if you drop out. Regular attendance is essential in order to build knowledge, and is therefore a requirement of the program. If you miss more than four sessions, are arrested for another assaultive offense, or become disruptive, your case will be closed and returned to the court for further action that may include jail time.

We will also provide the court with written notice of your enrollment or progress/status reports if required.

“I didn’t hit my partner, I don’t understand why I am here.”

Abusive behavior is not limited to hitting or otherwise physically assaulting someone, and you do not have to hit your partner to be arrested for CDV. Threats to harm them, the children or pets, degrading comments, coercive sexual behaviors, name calling, checking up on them because of your feelings of jealousy, stalking, punching the wall, breaking things, keeping score, financial control, causing them to be afraid…all these are examples of abusive behavior that cause hurt and harm to your partner and children. Wounds do not have to be visible to hurt.

To enroll, or for more information, call 803-791-1322