If it IS Broke, Why Not Fix It? An Empirically Supported Intervention for Intimate Partner Violence

A presentation by Erika Lawrence, PhD

Description: ACTV is a relatively new curriculum for men who have been court-mandated to complete a Batterers Education Program (BEP) following a domestic violence conviction. Our goals in ACTV are to: (a) reduce/end men’s use of psychologically/emotionally and physically abusive and controlling behaviors and to (b) increase men’s use of respectful, adaptive, healthy behaviors in their relationships. ACTV is a 24-week program typically offered in a 90-minute group format. This presentation will provide an overview of ACTV and how it differs from existing court-mandated IPV interventions. Examples of how we apply ACT concepts and processes in session will be provided. Finally, outcome data from two RCTs will be summarized.

About the Presenter: Erika Lawrence is a Professor at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and their Director of Translational Science. She received her PhD in clinical psychology at UCLA and was a tenure-track/tenured professor in the Departments of Psychology at the University of Iowa and the University of Arizona (where she still maintains an appointment). She has conducted interventions with and assessed the effectiveness of interventions for domestic violence offenders, victims, children, and families since the early 1990s. Over the past decade, she worked closely with the Iowa DOC including the probation and parole officers, DOC employees, judges and victim advocates to overhaul their court-mandated curriculum for men sentenced to complete a BEP. She has trained hundreds of facilitators and co-led countless groups. Her research demonstrating the effectiveness of her new curriculum led to its adoption as the only BEP offered in Iowa. It has also been (or is being) implemented in multiple states and The Pew Center has listed it as the only BEP that they recommend based on its empirical support and its cost-effectiveness. Dr. Lawrence’s work in this area has been funded by the DOJ, NIMH, NICHD, and the CDC.

If you are a Domestic Violence, Criminal Justice, or Mental Health Professional and are interested in participating in an open discussion following the presentation, please RSVP to Pilar Broggi (pbroggi@niu.edu) no later than Wednesday, February 19.

Friday, February 21, 2020 at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault
1635 W Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, IL 60115

Event Type

Lectures, Presentations and Workshops



Target Audience

General Public





Center for the Study of Family Violence and Sexual Assault, Psychology
Contact Name

Pilar Broggi

Contact Email or Phone


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