Is It Possible That Domestic Violence Perpetrators Can STOP Their Abusive Behavior?

Hear from the Experts at a National Conference in Austin


Austin, Texas – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today launched the 11th Annual Battering Intervention and Prevention Program Conference in Austin. The conference is being held April 13-14, 2014 at The Westin at the Domain. Speakers are traveling to Austin from across the country to hold workshops on successful strategies to try and stop batterers from hitting again and to change their behaviors.

“Can male batterers be reformed? Yes, with hard work and commitment, it is possible,” says Sara Elinoff Acker, a keynote speaker at the conference and a psychotherapist who has worked with abusive men since 1992 and who has been an activist in the battered women’s movement for almost 30 years. “Though many abusive men do not change their behavior, some do,” says Acker who has written a new book highlighting men who’ve taken responsibility for their violence, UNCLENCHING OUR FISTS: Abusive Men on the Journey to Nonviolence.

Keynote Speakers:

Sara Elinoff Acker, LICSW is a psychotherapist and has been an activist in the battered women’s movement since 1985. Elinoff Acker worked in shelter programs in Northern Vermont and Western Massachusetts and in 1992 started the Partner Contact Program at “Men Overcoming Violence” (MOVE), an Amherst, Massachusetts batterer intervention program. The MOVE program was featured on the CBS news magazine show “48 Hours” for its long-term work with abusive men.

Carlos Andrés Gómez is an award-winning poet, actor, speaker, and writer from New York City. He is the author of the coming-of-age memoir “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood,” released in 2012 by Gotham Books, an imprint of Penguin. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and named Artist of the Year at the 2009 Promoting Outstanding Writers Awards, he co-starred in Spike Lee’s movie, “Inside Man” with Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, and Clive Owen. He appeared in the sixth season of HBO’s “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry” and, most recently, in the third season of TV One’s “Verses and Flow.” He has headlined conferences and festivals all over the world, including South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Canada, the U.K., and as Guest of Honor at the Berlin International Literature Festival in Germany.

“The conference speakers will inspire and motivate you while simultaneously validating the importance of this work,” said Gloria A. Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence. “I’d also like to share a striking recollection of a BIPP participant’s exit interview I did. I asked him “What have you learned?” He replied “Let’s see, I’ve been arrested, gone to court, paid money, come to classes, do homework and have to explain to friends and family members what I do on Thursday evenings. But for the fear I caused and saw in my wife’s eyes that night — I’ve learned that I have not paid enough.”

The Texas Council on Family Violence supports effective battering intervention programming and remains committed to partnering with national experts in the field and to provide the highest caliber BIPP training to programs. In developing this year’s event, we were fortunate enough to draw on many of those established partnerships to craft workshops that support programmatic success in a number of areas, including working with female offenders, developing cultural competency for LGBTQ groups, strengthening BIPP involvement in coordinated community response, understanding new paradigms in batterer motivation and experiences, as well as gaining practical, hands-on skills.


Texas Council on Family Violence is the statewide organization representing Texas domestic violence programs and serves as the voice of victims at the state level while working with local communities to create strategies to prevent family violence. Visit us online at