Understanding the lived experiences of male victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in the disclosure process.
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AbstractRationale: Service provisions for different forms of abuse experienced by men have increased in recent years. However, the voices and experiences of these victims remain significantly unrepresented both in the literature and the public domain. Disclosure of intimate partner violence (IPV) remain under-reported to the police and other personal and professional services aimed at male victims support and intervention. Whilst there is literature indicating the prevalence rates of IPV there is little describing the impact and consequences disclosing the experience of abuse has, particularly upon men. In order for healthcare professional and specialist service providers to provide adequate support and to avoid further trauma being experienced as part of the disclosure process there is a need for professionals to work in a reflexive manner and ensure any bias or personal values they may have and their knowledge of the subject does not hinder those seeking support and guidance. Method: The research follows the qualitative methodology of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Participants were recruited through adverts placed with male support organisations. All participants were required to have made a disclosure within the past two years, however the abuse could have occurred at any time through the lifespan. Interviews were conducted face-to-face or via telephone following a semi-structured schedule. Data was gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews with five males who have experienced intimate partner violence. Results: The results identified five super-ordinate themes including a lack of support; a lack of awareness and stereotypes by personal and professional support; impact on self-identity, self-esteem and self-confidence; and shame, betrayal and isolation. Five sub-ordinate themes were identified and included difficulty recognising an abusive situation; difficulty finding support organisations if not computer literate and a lack of knowledge by frontline professionals. The majority of themes identified appeared to reflect a negative impact from disclosing to another person. A positive sub-ordinate theme was the support of female family members once they had processed the disclosure. Conclusions: Significant strides have been made in the awareness, understanding and provisions for female victims of abuse, the same for male victims’ remains lacking. The present study adds to existing literature by providing ideographic accounts from men who have disclosed intimate partner violence. Implications from the findings highlight a need for frontline staff to have a greater awareness of the needs and presentation of male abuse victims accessing services. The current findings indicate a need to provide earlier intervention, support and guidance for male abuse victims than those disclosed in this research. Despite the limited sample in this data, findings indicated a clear need to review current service provisions and training in the area of male victims of abuse.
DescriptionA research portfolio submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the award of Practitioner Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.