Severity of Victimization and Formal Help Seeking Among Men Who Experienced Intimate Partner Violence in Their Ongoing Relationships

Alexandra Lysova, Eugene E Dim
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2020 May 29, : 886260520922352
This study examined the severity of intimate partner violence (IPV) experienced by men in their ongoing relationships and their help-seeking behavior with the criminal justice system and other professional agencies. This study also examined the extent to which socio-demographic variables predicted formal help seeking among male victims of IPV. Data were drawn from 2009 and 2014 cycles of the Canadian General Social Survey on Victimization with a nationally representative sample of 52,400 respondents. It is estimated that about 655,400 men in Canada reported having experienced physical and/or sexual victimization due to IPV in married/common-law relationships at the time of the surveys between 2004 and 2014. The latent class analysis generated four types of IPV victimization among men. Among male victims of physical and/or sexual IPV, about 64,000 men experienced the most severe type of IPV characterized by chronic and severe physical and psychological violence with a high probability of injuries and negative emotional effects of IPV. Although most of the male victims of IPV did not seek formal help (e.g., did not contact the police and IPV services), the severity of experienced violence was associated with the increased use of formal services. Some structural factors, such as being unemployed and residing with young children, were found to be substantial barriers to contacting formal agencies for help. Our findings highlight the need for the development of gender-inclusive and gender-sensitive public policy and intervention programs that help all victims of IPV regardless of victim gender.

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