Men too ’suffer psychological trauma from partner abuse’

April 8th, 2011 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 8 (ANI): Two recent studies have revealed that men who are abused by their female partners can suffer significant psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Although most reported domestic abuse is committed by men against women, a growing body of research has picked up on the prevalence and significance of domestic violence perpetrated against men.

“Given the stigma surrounding this issue and the increased vulnerability of men in these abusive relationships, we as mental health experts should not ignore the need for more services for these men,” said British researcher Anna Randle, lead author of a paper summarizing two decades of research into domestic violence effects on men.

Approximately 8 percent of men and 25 percent of women reported being sexually or physically assaulted by a current or former partner, according to the National Violence against Women Survey, which polled 8,000 men and 8,000 women.

While this survey did not indicate the sex of the perpetrator, it provided the most up-to-date comprehensive interpersonal violence statistics at the time of the study, according to the researchers.

One analysis of the survey’s results showed that male victims were just as likely to suffer from PTSD as female victims of domestic abuse.

In addition, psychological abuse was just as strongly associated with PTSD as was physical violence in these male victims.

“This raises questions and concerns for male victims of domestic violence, given findings that women are more likely to perpetrate psychological than physical aggression toward male partners,” wrote Randle.

In the second study, led by Denise Hines, from Clark University, the researchers looked at two independent sample groups totalling 822 men between the ages of 18 and 59.

The first sample was composed of 302 men who had sought professional help after being violently abused by their female partners. The authors called this ‘intimate terrorism’, characterized by much violence and controlling behaviour.

The second sample was composed of 520 men randomly recruited to participate in a national phone survey in which they were asked questions about their relationship.

Of this general community, 16 percent said they had sustained minor acts of violent and psychological abuse during arguments with their female partners. This type of abuse was referred to in the research as “common couple violence,” in which both partners lashed out physically at each other.

The researchers found that in both groups of men, there were associations between abuse and post-traumatic stress symptoms.

The finding is published in the April issue of Psychology of Men & Masculinity. (ANI)

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