Making sense of violence: A qualitative study of men who have been violent towards female partnersedit
This qualitative study centers on men who have been violent towards female partners, and explores their understanding and meaning making of their behavior. The sample was selected from among three batterer intervention programs in New York City. Data were collected through in-depth initial and follow-up interviews with sixteen men, aged 23-46 years over a period of one year and analyzed for codes and themes consistent with grounded theory methodology. Making sense of violence was identified as an overarching theme among the men’s narratives, and included concepts such as emphasizing self as nonviolent, being in control/being out of control, assuming responsibility for behavior, “it takes two to tango,” linking behavior to childhood violence exposure, and recreating one’s self. How the men contextualized their violence and their experiences of their participation in a group program were recognized as sub-themes. Implications for clinical practice and future research that specifically focus on men who are violent towards female partners are also discussed.