Attitudes of Jordanian society toward wife abuse

Rula Btoush*, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The authors conducted an exploratory study among a convenience sample of 260 Jordanian men and women, using self-administered open and closed questions to examine the participants' approach toward wife abuse. In general, there was high awareness of wife abuse and the different types of abuse (mainly physical and psychological), a general tendency to oppose wife abuse, a tendency to blame the victim for abuse, and a lesser tendency to blame the abuse on the husband, marital problems, as well as familial and societal conditions. There was also a strong tendency to consider wife abuse a personal and familial issue rather than a social and legal problem. Therefore, the preferred method for coping with wife abuse and violence was the expectation that the abused wife should change her behavior and assume responsibility to change her husband followed by resorting to informal agents (family or community or religious figures). Less preferred coping methods included confronting the husband and expressing desire to break up or separate and resorting to formal agents (social welfare programs, counseling, legal system), as a last resort in cases of repeated abuse and severe physical violence. The implications of these findings for future research, interventions, and policy formulation are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1531-1554
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Attitudes toward wife abuse
  • Jordanian society
  • Violence against women
  • Wife abuse


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