Methods: The study sample included 29 directors of Centers for the treatment and prevention of domestic violence in Israel who had held senior positions in the field for at least three years. Data were collected through four focus group interviews with the centers’ directors, and data analysis was performed inductively, using thematic content analysis.
Results: Analysis of the material collected in the focus groups revealed three main themes relating to the directors' policies: 1) a declaration by the directors of their views of domestic violence as being gender- symmetrical, 2) a dilemma regarding whether men should be confronted at the beginning of the therapeutic process with their behavior as abusers, and 3) directors’ personal attitudes towards gender that affect practice. The study revealed a discrepancy between directors' declarations about policy and the actual practice enacted. Directors were conflicted in regard to how to name the centers, the level of direct confrontation with the males, and the level of outreach efforts they should be making.
Conclusion and Implications: The study broadens both formal and informal knowledge regarding the policy to keep men in interventions. The findings allow for a wide-ranging understanding of male batterers who stay (or don't stay) in treatment.