The Batterer's View of the Self and Others in Domestic Violence
Article first published online: 9 JAN 2007
Volume 71, Issue 2, pages 221–240, April 2001
How to Cite
Goodrum, S., Umberson, D. and Anderson, K. L. (2001), The Batterer's View of the Self and Others in Domestic Violence. Sociological Inquiry, 71: 221–240. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.2001.tb01109.x
- Issue published online: 9 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 9 JAN 2007
Researchers estimate that 3-4 million women are abused by intimate partners each year, and the United States Surgeon General reports physical abuse as the leading cause of injury to women in the U.S. Although numerous studies have examined survivors’perceptions of domestic violence, few have examined battery from the perpetrator's perspective. We use a symbolic interactionist perspective to examine in-depth interviews with thirty-three male batterers and a demographically matched comparison group of twenty-five nonviolent male subjects. Our findings indicate that batterers minimize others’negative views of themselves, and they dissociate themselves from their partners’physical and emotional injuries. The comparison subjects, on the other hand, consider others’negative views of themselves, and they describe a deeper understanding of their intimate others’problems. We argue that an understanding of the batterer's perception of himself and others in domestic violence will help counselors develop techniques to stop male violence against women.