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J Marital Fam Ther. 2012 Jul;38(3):458-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2012.00320.x. Epub 2012 Jul 2.

Interventions with men who are violent to their partners: strategies for early engagement.

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  • 1Social and Community Health, School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Practitioners who view intimate partner violence as a set of strategies aimed at maintaining positions of power and privilege often face an engagement dilemma when men at their first contact talk of themselves as disempowered by circumstances such as separation, loss of access to children, legal problems, substance abuse issues, and their own history of being abused. This paper explores how a language-oriented approach to violence can assist practitioners in responding to abuser's current perceptions while avoiding collusion with justifications for violence. It examines common ways of speaking that men will employ to justify their violence then explores practical ways to identify and neutralized these messages before exploring personal opportunities for change.

© 2012 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

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