Between Normality and Deviance The Breakdown of Batterers' Identity Following Police Intervention

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With the transformation of intimate violence from private trouble to social problem, police intervention in domestic violence cases became more prevalent. Research has focused mainly on battered women's perception of police intervention, their evaluations, and their level of satisfaction with the intervention. However, there is little research examining the perpetrators' subjective perceptions of such interventions. The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze battering men's perceptions of police intervention. The study is based on semistructured, in-depth interviews with 20 batterers who had repeated encounters with police. Findings show a continuum of self-management, ranging from attempts to preserve a normative identity in the first encounter to struggling against criminalization in the second encounter and adopting a victim identity in the third encounter. The findings are discussed in the context of gender identity and power relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-467
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Batterers
  • Police
  • Women abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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