An examination of the under-reporting of male victims of domestic abuse

This research will add to the body of knowledge on domestic abuse cases with male victims and will explore some of the reasons that abused men are inhibited from disclosing the abuse.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Andrea Ley
Police region
South East
Level of research
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

It can be argued that male victims of domestic abuse is an under-researched area and this is the platform for this research.

The purpose of the study is to contribute to the significant lack of academic research regarding male victims due to criminology focusing on men as perpetrators, and domestic abuse being a matter of common concern for female victims.

The aim of this study is to critically review the nature and prevalence of coercive control in domestic abuse cases, in respect of male victims. The study then proposes to critically assess the current policy on coercive control regarding male victims.

The research also aims to add to the body of knowledge on domestic abuse against men by exploring underlying issues faced by abused men and identify barriers that inhibit abused men from disclosing and seeking assistance from both formal and informal support networks.

The primary objective is to critically explore concepts of coercive control and its use in cases of domestic abuse concerning male victims. The secondary objectives are to gain the perspective of male victims of domestic abuse and the under-reporting of this offence through in-depth interviews with practitioners and charity workers within the field of domestic abuse.

An online survey for male victims of domestic abuse will

  • gain an insight into male victims' experiences of domestic abuse
  • identify the patterns of abuse experienced
  • enable the researcher to see if the beliefs held by male victims support those of practitioner and charity workers in this field

Following the findings of the interviews with practitioners and charity workers and the surveys with male victims, an online survey will be carried out with the general public to ascertain their views of male victims of domestic abuse and if they support the findings.

Research methodology

The research is a mixed methods approach. The mixed method design chosen is the convergent parallel design, which entails the simultaneous collection of quantitative and qualitative data, and the resulting analyses are compared, thus being associated with triangulation.

The aim is to interview between 10-15 police officers and practitioners who work within the field of domestic abuse, with the interviews being semi-structured in nature.

With regard to male victims of domestic abuse, the aim is for the survey to be completed by between 50-100 victims. The findings for the interviews and surveys will be analysed and triangulated, using NVIVO (for the qualitative data) and SPSS (for the quantitative data).

The results will then be used to construct a survey to find the perceptions of the general public regarding male victims of domestic abuse (ethical approval will be sought before this is made available online).

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