male domestic abuse study

Male domestic violence to be studied by university researcher

Dr Liz Bates

Dr Liz Bates

Men in an abusive or aggressive relationship are being asked to take part in a study which it’s hoped could highlight what’s claimed to be ‘hidden hurt.’

Despite figures suggesting that for every three victims of domestic abuse, two will be female and one will be male, care and counselling available is said to be far from equal.

“In society at the moment, men’s victimisation or men’s experience in relationships around conflict, violence and aggression are not as well understood because they’re not well talked about,” according to Dr Liz Bates, senior lecturer in applied Psychology at the University of Cumbria who begins a research project this week.

The range of incidents Dr Bates is keen to learn more about is wide; from physical and verbal acts of violence  to psychological and emotional abuse which can include isolation from friends and family, being bullied and humiliated, or being manipulated around parenting/children.

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members can be considered abusive.

The growth in social media has also increased the scope for potential abuse. Trolling and placing false or malicious information online has been highlighted in recent high profile cases as has revenge porn and stalking.

“Men may not realise they’re in an abusive relationship but anything that limits or makes a person subordinate and dependent is a form of abuse,” Dr Bates says. “It could be exploiting their resources or depriving them of the means for independence by regulating their everyday behaviour. For men to face up to this too can be traumatic.”

The research will be anonymous; an online questionnaire will be used to capture details of incidents:

Dr Bates has significant experience in this area having completed a PHD on the subject and serving as a trustee with the Mankind charity which annually receives calls from male victims across all age ranges and professions.

“There’s a lack of awareness about men’s experiences which, with my research, I’d really like to highlight and help people understand.”