Domestic Violence From a Child Perspective: Impact of an Immersive Virtual Reality Experience on Men With a History of Intimate Partner Violent Behavior

Sofia Seinfeld*, Ruud Hortensius, Jorge Arroyo-Palacios, Guillermo Iruretagoyena, Luis E. Zapata, Beatrice de Gelder, Mel Slater, Maria V. Sanchez-Vives*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Domestic violence has long-term negative consequences on children. In this study, men with a history of partner aggression and a control group of non-offenders were embodied in a child's body from a first-person perspective in virtual reality (VR). From this perspective, participants witnessed a scene of domestic violence where a male avatar assaulted a female avatar. We evaluated the impact of the experience on emotion recognition skills and heart rate deceleration responses. We found that the experience mainly impacted the recognition of angry facial expressions. The results also indicate that males with a history of partner aggression had larger physiological responses during an explicit violent event (when the virtual abuser threw a telephone) compared with controls, while their physiological reactions were less pronounced when the virtual abuser invaded the victim's personal space. We show that embodiment from a child's perspective during a conflict situation in VR impacts emotion recognition, physiological reactions, and attitudes towards violence. We provide initial evidence of the potential of VR in the rehabilitation and neuropsychological assessment of males with a history of domestic violence, especially in relation to children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number08862605221106130
Pages (from-to)2654–2682
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume38
Issue number3-4
Early online date21 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • ABUSE
  • AWARENESS
  • EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS
  • FATHERS
  • HEART-RATE REACTIVITY
  • ILLUSORY OWNERSHIP
  • PERCEPTION
  • PERPETRATION
  • RECOGNITION
  • REPLICATE
  • children
  • domestic violence
  • embodiment
  • empathy
  • perspective-taking
  • virtual reality

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Domestic Violence From a Child Perspective: Impact of an Immersive Virtual Reality Experience on Men With a History of Intimate Partner Violent Behavior'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this