Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 189–203

The Severity of Violence Against Men Scales

  • Linda L. Marshall

DOI: 10.1007/BF00979027

Cite this article as:
Marshall, L.L. J Fam Viol (1992) 7: 189. doi:10.1007/BF00979027


In response to the need to differentiate the effects of female and male violence, scales were developed applicable to female violence against men. Two versions of the Severity of Violence Against Men Scale (SVAMS) were devised as a counterpart to the Severity of Violence Against Women Scales (SVAWS). On 10-point rating scales, college males (N = 570) rated how serious, aggressive, abusive, violent, and threatening it would be if a woman did each of 46 acts to a man. The mean of each act across the ratings was calculated and then submitted to factor analysis. Eight factors emerged representing threats of mild, moderate, and serous violence, actual mild, minor, moderate, and serious violence and sexual violence. Community men (N = 115) rated the same acts on seriousness, aggressiveness, and abusiveness. All factors were unidimensional. Second order factor analysis confirmed that two dimensions (physical threats and actual violence) were represented. In contrast to the SVAWS, sexual violence loaded with threats of physical violence. The groups' ratings of physical and emotional harm provided the weightings for future research with student (SVAMS-S) and adult (SVAMS) samples.

Key words

abuse assessment dating violence martial violence, conflict 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda L. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North TexasDenton