From dichotomy to continua: Towards a transformation of gender roles and intervention goals in partner violence

Zvi Eisikovits, Benjamin Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Through an examination of the major trends in the last forty years in understanding the phenomenon of partner violence (PV), we can ascertain the movement from a dichotomous analysis of gender division, wherein men are perceived as perpetrators and women as victims, towards a more interactive and mutual dynamic. While intervention lags behind empirical knowledge, this trend enhances the controversy as to whether the unit of intervention in PV should be the male or the female, the individual or the couple. The first section of this paper provides a brief review of the development of our understanding of PV and the limited incorporation of new knowledge into core intervention goals with female and male clients. The second part of the paper illustrates how gender related controversies are reflected in the roles, self perceptions and functioning of therapists in the field. This section is based on qualitative data from a series of studies performed on therapists by the authors and their students during the last ten years. The transformative gender experience is examined, showing how the successful and open self-examination of gender related issues might lead to personal and professional growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Gender roles
  • History of partner violence
  • Intervention goals
  • Knowledge-practice gap
  • Therapists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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