Stay–Leave Decision-Making Among Women Victims of Domestic Violence in Israel: Background, Interactional, and Environmental Factors

Anat Ben-Porat, Adi Reshef-Matzpoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The study examined the factors that contribute to stay–leave decision-making of women who are domestic violence victims, focusing on background factors (origin, education, and occupational status); interactional factors (severity of violence, previous separations, and previous stays in a shelter); and social factors (social support and woman’s expectations of the shelter). In addition, it examined the contribution of the interaction of woman’s expectations of the shelter × psychological violence to the woman’s decision to leave/stay with her partner. Six months after returning to the community, 221 women who had stayed in a shelter for at least 3 months were located: 92 were Israeli-born Jews (41.6%), 49 were Israeli-born Arabs (22.2%), 51 were Former Soviet Union immigrants (23.1%), and 29 were Ethiopian immigrants (13.1%). Of them, 56.6% reported returning to their partners, and 43.4% reported leaving their partners. Education, occupational status, psychological violence severity, previous shelter stays, familial support, and expectations of having concrete needs fulfilled by the shelter made a significant contribution to the woman’s leaving the abusive relationship. Furthermore, Israeli Arab women were more likely to stay with their partners. Finally, the interaction of the expectation that concrete needs would be met × psychological violence made a significant contribution to leaving the relationship. The study emphasizes the need to expand the resources of domestically abused women and also highlights specific groups requiring special attention upon shelter entry: Arab women, women who previously stayed in shelters, and women characterized by a lack of resources and a high degree of psychological violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3688-3710
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2023

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© The Author(s) 2022.


  • stay–leave decision
  • support
  • violence


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