Severity of Violence Against Women Scale (SVAWS)

Author of Tool: 

Linda Marshall

Key references: 

Marshall, L. L. (1992). Development of the severity of violence against women scales. Journal of Family Violence, 7, 103-121.

Primary use / Purpose: 

The Severity of Violence Against Women Scales (SVAWS) is a 46-item scale that was developed by Linda Marshall to assess the frequency and severity of physical aggression against women by their male partners. The main purpose of the SVAWS is to tap, in a more comprehensive and sensitive manner, the psychological effects of intimate partner abuse.


The Severity of Violence Against Women Scale (SVAWS) can be subdivided into three subscales that differ in the degree of severity (i.e., threats of violence, acts of violence, and sexual aggression). These scales can be further categorized into nine dimensions with each item weighted for severity.


SVAWS has shown good reliability across a variety of studies and cultures and has been translated into over 10 languages. More information of psychometric properties can be found in Marshall (1992).



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