Gender-based violence has emerged only recently as a global issue. Psychological research on battering in multicultural context has been generally inadequate or flawed. This paper reviews studies from a variety of cultures that provide initial insight about the dynamics of battering in global context. Studies generally reveal that although there are cultural variations in the manifestations of battering, the underlying factors that support
and promote violence are quite similar across cultures. In many countries it is inconsistent with the specific values of the culture to expose information about intimate relationships. Most battering still remains undisclosed from neighbors, relatives, service agencies, and researchers.
In addition to examining the dynamics of abuse, this paper describes innovative intervention programs and culturally sensitive treatment principles. By being aware of the distinctive characteristics of cultures and providing a nonjudgemental approach, mental health professionals can help battered women become empowered to confront the violence in their lives. A great deal of additional research is still needed to help facilitate the most beneficial counseling for victims of domestic violence around the world.
Arica Cohen, ’99 Wheeling, IL
Sponsor: Carolyn Enns