Domestic Violence Myth Acceptance Scale (DVMAS)

Domestic Violence Myth Acceptance Scale (DVMAS) is an 18-item measure of the myth associated with domestic violence held by the community. The items cover 4 factors: Character blame, Behavior blame, Minimization, and Exoneration.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adults


The questions below ask about common attitudes toward domestic violence. While we all know the politically or socially correct answer, please answer how you truly think and feel. To answer, put a number on the line before each question indicating how strongly you agree or disagree with each statement.

Character blame
1. Some women unconsciously want their partners to control them.
2. If a woman continues living with a man who beat her, then it' s her fault if she is beaten again.
3. Many women have an unconscious wish to be dominated by their partners.

Response Options:
7-point Likert scale
Strongly disagree - 1
Strongly agree - 7

4. If a woman goes back to the abuser, how much is that due to something in her character?

Response Options:
7-point Likert scale
Not at all - 1
Entirely - 7

5. I hate to say it, but if a woman stays with the man who abused her, she basically deserves what she gets.
6. I don't have much sympathy for a battered woman who keeps going back to the abuser.
7. If a woman doesn't like it, she can leave.

Behavior blame
8. Making a man jealous is asking for it.
9. Women can avoid physical abuse if they give in occasionally.
10. Women who flirt are asking for it.
11. Women instigate most family violence.
12. A lot of domestic violence occurs because women keep on arguing about things with their partners.

13. When a man is violent it is because he lost of his temper.
14. Abusive men lose control so much that they don't know what they're doing.
15. Domestic violence results from a momentary loss of temper.

16. Most domestic violence involves mutual violence between the partners.
17. Domestic violence rarely happens in my neighborhood.
18. Domestic violence does not affect many people.

Response Options:
7-point Likert scale
Strongly disagree - 1
Strongly agree - 7

Scoring Procedures

The mean of all item scores is calculated for the total scale score.

Original Citation

Peters, J. (2008). Measuring Myths about Domestic Violence: Development and Initial Validation of the Domestic Violence Myth Acceptance Scale. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 16(1), 1-21.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


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