Social Work and Blood Vengeance: The Bedouin-Arab Case Academic Article uri icon


  • The practice of blood vengeance, the obligation to kill in retribution for the death of a member of one's family or tribe, is illegal in most countries of the world; however, many traditional cultures still demand this form of maintaining honour. This paper outlines the cultural and historical contexts of the practice of blood vengeance among the Bedouin of the Negev of Israel. It considers the consequences for the targeted family and details the coping strategies adopted by the family, especially the children, under conditions of extreme social, emotional and economic deprivation. It discusses social work intervention, from initial contact to partial resolution; strategies of cultural sensitivity are also outlined.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997