Bystanders’ Behavioral Responses to Intimate Partner Violence: The Role of Gender, Culture, and Education

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Neighbors have a proximate position for detecting in-home emergencies and providing critical assistance. This cross-sectional study tested neighbors’ helping behaviors during intimate partner violence emergencies in a sample of 384 Israeli adults. The aim was to identify potential differences in bystander response depending on the identified victim’s gender and the bystander’s gender and sociocultural group affiliation (i.e., liberal egalitarian or conservative traditional). Four hypothetical scenarios were presented to participants in which either a male or female was the identified victim; the IPV was mutual (i.e., both the male and the female parties were victims); or the victim’s gender was unknown to participants. The highest levels of behavioral responses emerged for the case with a female victim of IPV, and the lowest occurred for the case in which only a male experienced violence. Males preferred personal intervention, whereas females preferred calling welfare services or the police. Conservative traditional individuals preferred calling a religious authority significantly more than liberal egalitarian participants. Results highlight the importance of providing professional interventions, enhancing public awareness, and acknowledging specific cultural beliefs and traditions to sensitively address IPV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-668
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis.


  • Intimate partner violence
  • bystander
  • gender differences
  • helping behavior
  • sociocultural differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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