How Do I Sign Up For Domestic Violence Classes?

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated August 23, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Content Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include abuse which could be triggering to the reader. If you or someone you love is experiencing abuse, contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Support is available 24/7. Please also see our Get Help Now page for more immediate resources.
Domestic violence classes may help individuals learn about the nature of domestic violence, the various types, the experience of survivors, and ways to change thoughts and behaviors behind domestic violence. These classes are sometimes ordered by court, and if an attendee has a real desire to change, then domestic violence classes may help them understand their behavior and take steps to change..

Below, we’ll discuss the benefits of domestic violence classes, where to find such classes, and ways to get help after a domestic violence incident.

Are You Instigating Domestic Abuse?

Whether someone is wanting to participate in a domestic violence class on their own accord or they’ve been directed to complete domestic violence training by a court or other legal entity, they may be wondering how to find the appropriate classes. 

Domestic violence classes may differ from state to state. These programs may not necessarily be called "domestic violence classes" but may instead be categorized as “batterer intervention and prevention programs” (discussed below) or something similar. For this reason, it may be helpful to use variations of these search terms when trying to find domestic violence classes. The state you live in may use specific terminology for court-mandated courses.

What You Learn In A Domestic Violence Class

Domestic violence classes typically discuss what constitutes domestic violence and all its variations. You may learn why victims tend to stay in abusive relationships, as well as why people act abusively. You may also learn about the many people who experience domestic violence and how behaviors can be changed.

Typically, these courses are approved by the courts to meet certain requirements. If you need a program that is approved by a court, it may be best to do your research to find a course description that explicitly states the course has been approved by a court. Also, it may be helpful to ensure a given course is approved by the state where any domestic violence incidents occurred or wherever any relevant trials or divorce or custody cases are taking place. 

Batterer Intervention And Prevention Programs (BIPP)

One of the most common assumptions is that a domestic violence program tackles the issue of anger management. However, the concept of “anger management”—managing behaviors in response to inciting incidents—can inadvertently can place blame on a survivor and absolve the abuser of responsibility. Anger management may be a useful tool in helping people curb their outbursts in personal and professional settings, but it might not always eliminate domestic violence.

Domestic violence may often be less about anger and more about control. For this reason, some classes may be programs known as “batterer intervention and prevention programs" (BIPP), which may be available in your area. 

Getty/Luis Alvarez

BIPPs tend to be different from other kinds of domestic violence programs. Instead of focusing on how to control an abuser's "triggers," they tend to focus on holding the abuser accountable. Topics covered in a BIPP may include:

  • Addressing conflict in a non-violent manner

  • Learning how to respect, support, and trust others

  • Being honest and accountable for one’s actions

One of the key differences between a BIPP and an anger management program is that a BIPP tends to address an abuser's history of abusive behavior and often teaches them accountability. An abusive behavior is typically a pattern that has developed over time. A BIPP tends to teach an abuser to reflect on their actions and use critical thinking to prevent reacting abusively.

Paying For A Domestic Violence Intervention Program

Some classes may offer a complimentary or reduced-cost first session. Then, you can sign up for the remainder of the course for a fee. In addition to learning strategies to improve your life and the lives of your loved ones, you may receive a certificate of completion for the course, which can then be provided to a probation officer or employer as needed. There may be an additional fee for the certificate as well, depending on the provider.

Signing Up For A Domestic Violence Intervention Program Online

If you can't attend domestic violence classes in person, you may be able to sign up for a court-approved course over the internet. Some courses even have live video conferences so that you can attend in real time without having to be physically present. Another possible advantage of online classes is that the cost may be less due to the provider’s lower overhead costs. Before signing up, it may be helpful to ensure an online domestic violence class is approved by the courts in your state.

Getty Images
Are You Instigating Domestic Abuse?

Seeking Help With Domestic Violence

According to research published in Health Psychology Research, in a single year, one in four women and one in eight men between the ages of 18 and 59 experienced domestic violence.* Domestic violence can affect people of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

*If you or someone in your family is experiencing domestic violence, please know that you are not alone and that help is available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Whether you’re the perpetrator or the survivor of domestic violence, it may be important to get help, as people in domestic violence relationships may be at risk of repeating the cycle. One study showed that over half of adult survivors of domestic violence were also abused as children. Also, some survivors end up committing acts of domestic violence. It may help to speak with a therapist about ways to break the cycle of domestic violence for anyone involved. 

If you experience difficulty with anger management or a desire for control of your household, then counseling with a mental health professional might make a significant difference in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. 

In addition to traditional therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), there are other approaches for treating people who have committed acts of domestic violence. One of the new programs showing promise is called acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) through values-based behavior, a cognitive-behavioral approach. 

ACT recognizes there are multiple contributors to domestic violence, including lack of skills in communication and emotional control, as well as harmful beliefs, a history of trauma, and often substance use. ACT tends to focus on adding new skills rather than changing thoughts or feelings, and specifically how to better respond when those thoughts and feelings arise. 

One study was conducted by psychologist Amie Zarling, who created the Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior (ACTV) program, which has been used with more than 15,000 men who have been charged with domestic abuse. Research has shown that those who participated in ACTV had “half the rate of the violent and non-violent charges.”

Online Therapy Following Domestic Violence

While it may be difficult to find someone in your community who specializes in a particular type of therapy, such as ACTV, it may be easier to find such a therapist through an online therapy service. The aftermath of domestic violence can cause significant stress, anxiety, or depression, and online therapy has proven to be effective in supporting those experiencing these conditions. With BetterHelp, you can choose form thousands of therapists, so you can find someone who has experience with whatever therapy type you think would be most beneficial for you. 

Online therapy also tends to be flexible. You can connect with a licensed therapist from home or anywhere you have an internet connection, via phone, live chat, or videoconferencing. A compassionate, non-judgmental mental health professional can listen honestly to your experiences and work to help you pursue healthier choices. 

Below are reviews from BetterHelp users who found support for anger and control concerns from online counselors.

Counselor Reviews

"Steve is amazing and does a good job at making this seem like less of a counseling session and more of a conversation between friends. He helped me talk through my anger issues and road rage and gave me lots of problem-solving tools. I highly recommend him!"

"Krysten has been an immense help in dealing with and confronting my anger and depression issues. I started to notice immediate changes in my general disposition within a week of working with her. My friends and family have even said I seem less bitter and jaded. And the fact that I can communicate with her frequently has done wonders in keeping me on track and progressing forward. My time working with Krysten and being on BetterHelp has been a positive experience and done much more for me than traditional in-office therapy ever did."


Domestic violence classes may help a person learn to make changes that eliminate violence and lead them to be the type of person they want to be. In addition to domestic violence classes, individuals who have committed acts of domestic violence may benefit from talking to a licensed therapist. A therapist may be able to identify the root causes of such behavior and help individuals learn thoughts and emotions that lead to more constructive behavior. 

With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a licensed online counselor who has experience helping people change their behavior and rebuild trust after domestic violence incidents. Take the first step toward improving yourself and rebuilding relationships and contact BetterHelp today.

Receive trauma-informed professional support

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started