Possibilities for Intervention in Domestic Violence: Frame Analysis of Health Care Professionals’ Attitudes

Tuija Virkki, Marita Husso, Marianne Notko, Juha Holma, Aarno Laitila, Mikko Mäntysaari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Violence is a serious problem, and social and health care providers are in a key position for implementing successful interventions. This qualitative study of 6 focus groups with professionals (n = 30) examines the health care professionals’ ways of framing a domestic violence intervention. Of special interest here is how professionals see their own roles in the process of recognizing and helping victims of domestic violence. By using Erving Goffman's frame analysis, this study identifies several frames that either: a) emphasize the obstacles to intervention and justify nonintervention, or on the contrary, b) question these obstacles and find justifications for intervention. The possibilities for intervention are further explored by analyzing the ways in which the dynamics between the different frames allow redefinition of domestic violence interventions. Despite the challenges involved in a domestic violence intervention, there seems to be potential for change in personal attitudes and reform of professional practices. The research findings underline the role of social and health care professionals as members of a larger chain of service providers working collaboratively against domestic violence. Implications for practice and directions in policy and future research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-24
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Domestic violence
  • focus groups
  • frame analysis
  • social and health care professionals
  • violence intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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