What is Abuse Intervention Programming

Jonathan Majors Was Sentenced to An Abuse Intervention Program. What is That?

Jonathan Majors, who was set to play a critical role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was dropped by Marvel Entertainment after his ex-partner accused Majors of “a pattern of pervasive domestic abuse.” Recently, Majors was sentenced to a 52-week abuse intervention program.


While we cannot speak to the specific program that Majors is participating in, JBWS has been running its own abuse intervention program since the early 1980s. Through JBWS’ Jersey Center for Non-Violence (JCNV), we offer abuse intervention programming for men, women, and teenaged boys.


How do these abuse intervention programs work?
Many people who choose to use abuse in their relationship do so because it’s been their example growing up, they’ve learned it’s better to use control than it is to be controlled, or it’s worked for them in the past. JCNV offers confidential group counseling programs to help people examine their use of abusive behaviors and learn healthy alternatives to those behaviors.


Each group follows a curriculum that covers a wide range of topics including what abusive behavior is, their thought process and beliefs that lead them to use abusive behavior, the impact of abuse on their partner and children, how to develop healthy relationship skills, and accountability planning for when they feel a need to have power and control.


“Many of our clients know that certain behaviors are wrong, but they don’t know what’s right,” says Juli Harpell-Elam, the director of JBWS’ Jersey Center for Non-Violence. “They may have never had an example of healthy relationships growing up so we might be the first healthy relationship they have.”


At JCNV, each client is treated with respect. Our staff members do not respond with power and control. While we are very honest about the impact of their behaviors on their partners and children, there is no shaming, threatening, intimidating, or judging them.


Do abuse intervention programs actually work?

While we cannot determine whether an abuse intervention program will be effective for Majors or not, abuse intervention works if the person is willing to put in the effort.


“People can change, but they have to want to change, and they have to want to do the work to change,” explains Harpell-Elam. “It takes a lot of time and energy to change behaviors that a person has had for a long time and to develop new skills that facilitate healthier relationships.”


In the words of one JCNV client, “I wish I knew about these programs sooner. It would have been an effective tool when I was younger. The information we learn here would be helpful for everyone to know.”


How can I learn more?

If you are noticing that your behavior toward your partner is unhealthy, you don’t need to wait until the abuse escalates or the police get involved. You can seek help right now. Go to to learn more or call 973.539.7801.