Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Male victims of 'intimate terrorism' can experience damaging psychological effects

I wasn't even sure if I should blog this one as it seems to be common sense. Anyhow....some science:

[R]esearchers looked at two independent sample groups totaling 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 behavior.

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. However, the "intimate terror victims" who had sought professional help were at a much greater risk of developing PTSD than the men from the general community group who said they had engaged in more minor acts of violence with their partners, according to the researchers.

"This is the first study to show that PTSD is a major concern among men who sustain partner violence and seek help," said Hines.

Research has shown severe underreporting of spousal or partner abuse of men, according to Randle. For example, men are not as likely to report serious injuries due to abuse, and psychological or less violent abuse is more likely to go unreported to authorities. In addition, police are less likely to arrest female suspects accused of violence than male suspects, according to another study cited by Randle.

The lack of reliable data has led to some confusion in the literature on domestic violence effects on men, the researchers said. They suggest more rigorous research focusing specifically on male victims.

And there is nothing more to say...

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