The importance of male batters' attributions in understanding and preventing domestic violence

Helene S. Wallach, Tsipi Sela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present article reviews the literature regarding the importance of taking into account male batters' attributions in order to understand and to curtail their violence. Many treatment programs have been devised to stop domestic violence (DV); however, little comparative research exists. Therefore, we are unable to determine which techniques are effective and which are not. We contend that uncovering battering men's attributions is important in understanding DV, and specifically, that these attributions are the key to curtailing DV. We present a typology of battering men's attributions. What is common to these attribution styles is the evasion of responsibility for commission of, and for the need to take affirmative action to stop, the violence. These attribution styles have been found to increase battering men's hostility and stress, their risk for engaging in violent behavior, as well as enabling battering men to continue their violence unchecked. Therefore, attributions are a crucial ingredient in DV and must be addressed directly and intensely in DV treatment programs in order to increase their (as yet limited) effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-660
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Violence
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Attributions
  • Battering men
  • Domestic violence
  • Domestic violence-causes
  • Domestic violence-treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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