Domestic Violence Intervention

Domestic violence is a deadly issue in our community. At SPARC, we know that offender services are a crucial part of domestic violence prevention. When individuals lack coping skills to deal with stressors, it results in an increased use of power, control and other abusive tactics – leading to a higher risk to partners and children. To decrease the number of domestic violence incidents, services must be aimed at those who are committing the abuse. Offender services are a vital way of preventing new victims while holding those who have caused harm accountable for their actions.

 SPARC’S trauma informed Domestic Violence Intervention Program provides evidenced based counseling sessions to men and women who have committed abuse. We serve residents in a growing list of NC counties (currently Buncombe, Madison + Yancy) and SPARC is the only program in the state certified to provide this program in Buncombe County. For information on DVIP programs for other counties, click HERE.

There is a saying that “hurt people hurt people”. Children exposed to violence and trauma are at an increased risk of using violence as adults or becoming victims of it. Participants in SPARCs domestic violence program report a higher level of childhood trauma than the general population. Most often, these past traumas are not addressed and are further compounded by poverty, community violence, and personal losses.  Without intervention and healing, it is a cycle that often continues.

SPARC is helping to break this cycle by addressing the traumas of the participants in our Domestic Violence Intervention Program. Through the testimony and experiences of the over 400 participants we have served, SPARC has identified both unemployment and trauma as two of the complex factors that influence domestic violence. We address employment through providing case management and by linking participants to Inclusive Hiring Partners, a resource for county residents with employment barriers. SPARC has tracked great client success with our holistic approach which addresses a broad spectrum of factors associated with domestic violence and not just the incident that led to referral into the program.

     Trauma remains a core issue for offenders and survivors. We focus trainings for our staff on trauma and incorporate trauma informed policies and practices into our individual and group work with participants. Trauma, such as Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs), are recognized as a public health issue by the CDC due to the impact on people’s physical and mental health. Additionally, people with ACE scores of 4 or higher are more likely to be violent, to have more marriages, more broken bones, more drug prescriptions, more depression, and more autoimmune diseases. In the general population, 16% of adults had 4 or more ACEs.  30% of SPARC’s DVIP participants reported experiencing 4 or more. Learn more about ACEs and the impacts of trauma here.

SPARC works to increase the safety of spouses, partners and families in our community. That often begins with identifying who may be at risk or already experiencing domestic violence –

Does the person you love or live with:

  • Make you feel uncomfortable or afraid?
  • Often put you down, humiliate you, or make you feel worthless
  • Constantly check up on what you are doing or where you are going?
  • Try to stop you from seeing your own friends or family?
  • Make you feel afraid to disagree or say ‘no’ to them?
  • Constantly accuse you of flirting with other when this isn’t true
  • Tell you how the household finances should be spent, or prevent you from having your own money?
  • Stop you from having medical assistance?
  • Scare or hurt you by being violent (ie. Hitting, choking, smashing things, locking you in, driving dangerously to frighten you)?
  • Pressure or force you to do sexual things that you don’t want to do?
  • Threaten to hurt you, or to kill themselves if you say you want to end the relationship?
  • Interfere with your online access or access to the phone?
  • Hurt you children, or performed violent actions in front of your children?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, support is available for you. If you live in Buncombe County, you can walk into the Family Justice Center at 35 Woodfin St. Or schedule an appointment by calling 828-250-6900.  

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. 

If you would like more information about SPARC’s program or would like to make a referral, please call 828-620-0257

If you have a loved one who might benefit from our program, please contact Helpmate to explore support and resources for you and your family. (828) 254-0516.