Definitions of and beliefs about wife abuse among ultra-orthodox jewish men from Israel

Simona Steinmetz, Muhammad M. Haj-Yahia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This article presents a study conducted among 148 men from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Israel. A self-administered questionnaire was utilized to examine their definitions of and beliefs about wife abuse. The definitions provided by the majority of the participants were highly consistent with definitions that are accepted in the professional literature. The majority of participants tended to view wife abuse as unjustified and held violent husbands responsible for their behavior. They were also in favor of helping women who were abused. At the same time, however, some participants showed a tendency to blame women for violence against them and indicated that the reasons why women stay with husbands who are abusive can be attributed more to external factors than to her internal situation. Substantial amounts of the variance in the participants' definitions of and beliefs about wife abuse can be explained by the extent of their patriarchal ideology. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)525-554
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Beliefs about wife abuse
  • Ultra-Orthodox community
  • Violence against women
  • Wife abuse
  • Wife abuse in Judaism


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