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Genesis House to start batterers-intervention program

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    Meg McIntyre, manager of community education for Genesis House, talks to the audience gathered at Lorain Community College's Spitzer Center.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — A Lorain County domestic violence center unveiled a new batterers-intervention program to area organizations Friday.

Genesis House Domestic Violence Center is planning to roll out the new program in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, according to Executive Director Virginia Beckman.

“Lorain County hasn’t seen a true batterers-intervention program in 20 years that meets the best-practice standards,” Beckman said. “Ohio has best-practice standards that programs have to meet, and we haven’t had one. Our (new) program meets or exceeds all best-practice standards in the state of Ohio.”

The program is called the Men’s Anti-Violence Program, or MAP, and is modeled after a program out of Duluth, Minn., which has been “internationally recognized as the best intervention to most successfully reduce or eliminate violence against women and girls,” Beckman said.

Friday morning at the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College, Beckman and the manager of community education for Genesis House, Meg McIntyre, presented the program to representatives from several organizations and law enforcement agencies from the county.

“This was our stakeholder meeting for the community,” Beckman said. “The people present today are all of our community partners and potential referral sources for this batterers-intervention program that we’re rolling out.”

In attendance were people from Children Services, Job and Family Services, local foundations, housing authorities and court systems. Representatives from the Elyria and Lorain police departments and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office also attended.

The new program has a victim focus, encourages victim participation and is not based in anger management, according to information provided by Genesis House. The program is for men who have perpetrated domestic violence against a female in an intimate partnership and men who self-identify as perpetrators of interpersonal violence.

The 26-week program costs $20 per weekly session, and each session runs for 1ᄑ hours. If the participant is court-ordered or through probation, he is to understand that completion of the program is a part of his sentence.

“Right now, there’s a program for batterers who, after they get charged and sentenced, have to go and do a half-hour, online training,” McIntyre said. “Ours is 26 weeks, an hour and a half each week, because that’s what’s best practice.

“It’s really about keeping survivors safe from men who batter. It’s about changing ideology of men who batter.”

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.

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