Contextualizing interventions with battered women in collectivist societies: Issues and controversies

Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Several models and modalities of intervention with battered women have been developed over the past three decades. The common assumptions underlying these interventions include: violence and abuse are never appropriate in intimate relationships; battered women have a non-negotiable right to safety; the women's strengths and competencies should be emphasized rather than their weaknesses and problems; and battered women should be helped to understand how the social and familial contexts in which they are considered inferior citizens and family members contribute to violence against them. These interventions, as well as the principles and philosophies that underlie them, have been developed and implemented in individualistic, Western, and post-industrial societies. Hence, their suitability for implementation among battered women from collectivist and less developed societies has been called into question. In this article, the conceptual framework proposed by Triandis, Brislin, and Hui (1988) is used as the basis for exploring the characteristics of collectivist societies and their relevance to interventions with battered women. In addition, some issues, controversies, and dilemmas that can arise in those interventions are discussed. The article concludes with an epilogue that provides suggestions for further research on these issues and controversies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)331-339
Number of pages9
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Battered women
  • Collectivist societies
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Issues of intervention
  • Violence against women


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