Sara Elinoff Acker has been an activist in the battered women’s movement since 1985. She 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, MA batterer’s intervention program. She became a certified batterer’s intervention group leader in 1996 and ran batterer’s groups for over ten years. The MOVE program was featured on the CBS news magazine show “48 Hours” for its long-term work with abusive men. Sara has led trainings on innovations in partner contact and the process of change for abusive men across the U.S. In 2007 Sara was given the “Vagina Warrior” award for her efforts to end violence against women in her community. She lives in Western Massachusetts.
Her book, “Unclenching Our Fists: Abusive Men on the Journey to Nonviolence”, was published in October 2013 by Vanderbilt University Press. Though many abusive men never take responsibility for their behavior, some have been able to make remarkable changes as a result of their work in BIPP. Yet this remains one of the most under-reported good news stories in our work to end men’s violence. This plenary will present some of their stories and the common denominators of their journeys to nonviolence.