Male social workers working with men who batter: Dilemmas in gender identity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research into the impact of dealing with intimate partner violence has focused mainly on women who treated victims. The present article explores the interaction between male social workers and battering men. The sample included 15 male social workers who worked with battering men in social services. Data collection was performed through semistructured interviews. The main theme emerging from the interviews describes the reconstruction and renegotiation of the worker's professional and personal self in light of his experiences with violent clients. Two major motifs describing their experience emerged: The first is self-doubt arising from adopting a broad definition of violence, thus creating increased sensitization to and inclusion of a wide range of behaviors under the term violence. The second motif is related to compromising with reality by renegotiating their identity as aggressive, at times, but not violent. Findings were discussed in the light of the constructionist perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1741-1762
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • batterers
  • intimate partner violence
  • male social workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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