In this research, the complex nature of intimate partner violence and abuse against men is explored. It uncovers previously unknown aspects of abuse and provides a compelling overview of the nature of inter-family violence against males.
"Our main objective was to gather data to guide policy makers and service providers in improving services to male victims of intimate partner abuse..."
Violence against men and boys at the hands of their own partners is a highly under-explored area and one that is subject to being dismissed or denied.
Around 81% of interviewed service providers had provided assistance to a male in the past 12 months, across a range of service types.
This report provides a detailed view of what constitutes intimate partner violence and the ways in which males are affected and what stops them from being able to access help effectively.
Types Of Violence
The study characterised violence into the following types:
- Physical abuse - actual physical violence which included hitting, kicking, hair-pulling, scalding with hot water, scratching, biting, breaking property, throwing objects.
- Psychological abuse - a complex and difficult form of abuse characterised by emotional and sociological attacks that include put-downs, excess criticism, stonewalling, degrading talk in front of children and other forms of controlling and isolating behaviour.
- Verbal abuse - seen as a pattern of verbal attacks, shouting, swearing, and public attacks on males.
- Sexual abuse - forced acts of a sexual nature, sexual criticism, physical aggression during sexual activity.
- Financial abuse - withholding of money, over-control of spending, etc.
- Legal and/or administrative abuse - defined as use of accepted systems to the detriment of the other. This includes behaviours such as unjustly claiming violence by the male when it is in fact the female who has been violent and other ways where services are directed against the actual victim.
Recommendations for Services and Governments
The report offers several important recommendations for services to improve their ability to handle males as victims of IPV:
- Fund and implement public awareness campaigns showing the occurrence and effects of males as victims of violence. Working alongside campaigns against female violence is highly important and the campaigns must be positioned in terms of violence happening to anyone, not in terms of it's either males or females but not both.
- More provision of services specifically set up for male victims of violence, again not to detract from the needs of women but to honestly recognise that males need services too.
- Services should integrate offering for male victims with offerings for females, as a way to bring together partners and adopt a holistic approach to resolving conflict. Polarised approaches that inherently favour one or the other gender are likely to result in favourism.
- Further options for training should be available to provide services with appropriate awareness of the occurrence and handling of male IPV.
- Intimate Partner Abuse Against Males Report -2.26 MB
Report by Emily Tilbrook, Alfred Allan and Greg Dear supported by Edith Cowan University, LotteryWest and the Men's Advisory Network.
Men’s Advisory Network
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