A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Positioning as a Tool in Work with Fathers Who Have Been Violent in the Family (2021)

Päivinen, H., Siltala, H., & Holma, J. (2021). Positioning as a Tool in Work with Fathers Who Have Been Violent in the Family. In L. Gottzén, M. Bjørnholt, & F. Boonzaier (Eds.), Men, Masculinities and Intimate Partner Violence (Article 170-183). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429280054-12

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Päivinen, Helena; Siltala, Heli; Holma, Juha

Parent publication: Men, Masculinities and Intimate Partner Violence

Parent publication editors: Gottzén, Lucas; Bjørnholt, Margunn; Boonzaier, Floretta

ISBN: 978-0-367-23489-8

eISBN: 978-0-429-28005-4

Publication year: 2021

Article number: 170-183

Number of pages in the book: 230

Publisher: Routledge

Place of Publication: Abingdon

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429280054-12

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


This chapter focuses on interventions with fathers who have been violent in the family. The emphasis is on these men’s identity work. First, we review the current literature on critical masculinity studies concerning fatherhood in the context of work with men who have been violent in their close relationships. We then discuss how to work effectively with fathers who have been violent towards their family members. Drawing on data from two research, we demonstrate how fathering that approves of the use of violence can be addressed in treatment conversations for violence and non-violent fathering can be supported. These interventions include a perpetrator program and couple therapy for intimate partner violence. We also show how a specific intervention tool, namely positioning, can be used to assist these fathers in taking responsibility for and changing their violent behaviour. This chapter highlights the viewpoint of children as a key issue in any intervention treating family violence. We argue that working with the men’s identity as a father is a central issue in tackling family violence. Furthermore, we argue that identity work with these fathers needs to extend to other aspects of masculine identity which intersect with their position as parents.

Keywords: domestic violence; violence prevention work; intervention; men; fathers; paternity; identity (mental objects)

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 17:55