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Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada as Measured by the National Victimization Survey


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National victimization surveys that conceptualize intimate partner violence (IPV) as crime can contribute to a better understanding of the most severe forms of victimization in the intimate partner relationship. Based on the 2014 Canadian General Social Survey on Victimization, this study examined the prevalence of victimization resulted from physical and/or sexual IPV, controlling behaviors and also consequences of IPV for both men and women in a sample representative of the Canadian population. Given the paucity of research on male victims of IPV at the national population level, this article specifically discussed the experiences of men who reported violence perpetrated by their female intimate partners. Results showed that 2.9% of men and 1.7% of women reported experiencing physical and/or sexual IPV in their current relationships in the last 5 years. In addition, 35% of male and 34% of female victims of IPV experienced high controlling behaviors—the most severe type of abuse known as intimate terrorism. Moreover, 22% of male victims and 19% of female victims of IPV were found to have experienced severe physical violence along with high controlling behaviors. Although female victims significantly more often than male victims reported the injuries and short-term emotional effects of IPV (e.g., fear, depression, anger), there was no significant difference in the experience of the most long-term effects of spousal trauma—posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related symptoms. This article argues that future research should explain the increased gap in reporting of the IPV victimization among men compared to women.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Partner Abuse, Volume 10, Number 2, 2019
199© 2019 Springer Publishing Company
http://d x.doi.or g/10.1891/ 10.2.
1946-6560. 199
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate
Partner Violence in Canada as Measured by the
National Victimization Survey
Alexandra Lysova, PhD
School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada
Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Russia
Eugene Emeka Dim, MA
University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Donald Dutton, PhD
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
National victimization surveys that conceptualize intimate partner violence
(IPV) as crime can contribute to a better understanding of the most severe
forms of victimization in the intimate partner relationship. Based on the 2014
Canadian General Social Survey on Victimization, this study examined the
prevalence of victimization resulted from physical and/or sexual IPV, control-
ling behaviors and also consequences of IPV for both men and women in a sam-
ple representative of the Canadian population. Given the paucity of research
on male victims of IPV at the national population level, this article specifically
discussed the experiences of men who reported violence perpetrated by their
female intimate partners. Results showed that 2.9% of men and 1.7% of women
reported experiencing physical and/or sexual IPV in their current relationships
in the last 5 years. In addition, 35% of male and 34% of female victims of IPV
experienced high controlling behaviorsthe most severe type of abuse known
as intimate terrorism. Moreover, 22% of male victims and 19% of female victims
of IPV were found to have experienced severe physical violence along with high
controlling behaviors. Although female victims significantly more often than
male victims reported the injuries and short-term emotional effects of IPV (e.g.,
fear, depression, anger), there was no significant difference in the experience
200 Lysova et al.
of the most long-term effects of spousal traumaposttraumatic stress disor-
der (PTSD)-related symptoms. This article argues that future research should
explain the increased gap in reporting of the IPV victimization among men com-
pared to women.
KEYWORDS: Canadian General Social Survey; intimate terrorism; PTSD-related
effects of IPV; male victimization
Intimate partner violence (IPV) remains a serious problem in Canada (Burczy-
cka, 2016, 2017; Sinha, 2013) and many other countries in the world (Desmarais,
Reeves, Nicholls, Telford, & Fiebert, 2012a, 2012b; World Health Organization, 2013).
National surveys provide a distinct opportunity to measure prevalence and conse-
quences of IPV using large representative samples. National victimization surveys
framed as crime studies are particularly relevant for collecting information on the
most serious types of intimate partner assaults compared to family conflict studies
(Straus, 1999). Moreover, findings based on crime studies provide a realistic basis for
programs designed to help the victims and prevent and stop specific types of IPV.
While IPV scholarship has traditionally focused on the experiences of female vic-
tims, it has recently shown increasing interest in examining men’s victimization
in intimate relationships (Carmo, Grams, & Magalhães, 2011; Hines, Brown, &
Dunning, 2007; McCarrick, Davis-McCabe, & Hirst-Winthrop, 2016; Morgan &
Wells, 2016). Criminological IPV-related research, however, appears to lag behind in
exploring men’s particular experiences of partner violence ( Stanko & Hobdell, 1993).
According to Walklate (2004, p. 77), “[M]uch victimological work implicitly leaves us
with the impression that victims are not likely to be male. It renders female victim-
ization visible and male victimization invisible.”
The “gender paradigm” conceptualization of IPV (with the focus on violence against
women; Dutton, 2010, 2011), men’s hesitation to disclose vulnerability due to shame
and strict norms of masculinity (Addis & Mahalik, 2003; Goodey, 1997; Stanko & Hob-
dell, 1993), and higher rates of injury and overall more severe consequences of IPV for
women (Ellsberg, Jansen, Heise, Watts, & Garcia-Moreno, 2008; Tjaden & Thoennes,
2000) provide some explanation for the apparent invisibility of male victims of IPV
in the criminological research. In addition, findings that come from studies based on
clinical samples of battered women (Johnson, 2008) or surveys that focused on vio-
lence against women (Dobash, Dobash, Wilson, & Daly, 1992; Tjaden & Thoennes,
2000) create an impression that only a negligible number of men are abused by their
intimate partners and, if abused, the negative effects of IPV are minor.
Studies based on general population surveys (Breiding, 2014; Straus & Gelles,
1990) as well as those from meta-analyses (Archer, 2000a; Desmarais et al., 2012a)
have, however, suggested a similar prevalence of IPV among male and female
victims. Contrary to the notion of men as unlikely victims of severe violence, especially
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 201
in the context of coercive control (Johnson, 2006; Johnson & Leone, 2005), men have
been found to experience so-called “intimate terrorism (IT)” at a greater scale than
was previously argued (Hines & Douglas, 2010; Jasinski, Blumenstein, & Morgan,
2014). In addition, men have been found to experience considerable negative effects
from IPV, including anxiety and depression, serious injuries, and suicidal thoughts
(Brooks, Martin, Broda, & Poudrier, 2017; Coker et al., 2002; Hines & Douglas, 2011;
Randle & Graham, 2011). At the same time, male victims are typically less likely
than female victims to look for help and report incidences of IPV victimization to the
police (McCarrick et al., 2016). Although the current study examines victimization
experiences of both male and female victims of IPV in a recent national victimization
survey in Canada, it specifically discusses the experiences of IPV reported by men.
This study contributes to the IPV literature by drawing on a random sample of
33,000 Canadians surveyed in the 2014 Canadian General Social Survey on Victim-
ization (hereafter, GSS). Quantitative studies on IPV in Canada tend to employ the
1999 or 2004 GSS data (Ansara & Hindin, 2010; Brownridge, 2009, 2010; Daigneault,
Hebert, & McDuff, 2009; LaRoche, 2005; Romans, Forte, Cohen, Du Mont, & Hyman,
2007), as very little is known about the current realities of IPV, including compara-
tive aspects of the experience of IPV by gender in Canada. Also, there is a paucity of
national population-level research on the consequences of IPV with the focus on male
victims in Canada. First, our study will determine the prevalence of male and female
victimization from physical and sexual violence in the current partner relationships.
Since nonphysical forms of coercion and controlling behavior can be particularly dam-
aging for victims of IPV (e.g., Johnson, 2006; McFeely, Lombard, & Burman, 2013;
Pence & Paymar, 1993), the study will examine the experiences of emotional and
financial abuse against both partners. Given how essential the context of IPV is for
differentiating between types of IPV (Johnson, 2008; Myhill, 2017), we will use con-
trolling behavior for examining the different types of IPV experienced by male and
female partners. Then we will examine both short- and long-term effects of physical
IPV on men and women.
Prevalence of IPV Victimization
General population surveys of the incidence of domestic violence have found vic-
timization rates reported by males to be similar to those reported by females (e.g.,
Archer, 2000a; Desmarais et al., 2012a). On the 1985 National Family Violence Sur-
vey (NFVS), Stets and Straus (1990) reported any violence victimization rates of 7.6%
for men and 8.1% for women. Males and females reported initiating violence equally.
The U.S. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) found that
the annual prevalence of physical IPV victimization was 4.0% among women com-
pared to 4.7% among men. However, the annual prevalence of severe physical IPV
victimization was higher for women than men (2.7% and 2.0% respectively; Breiding,
202 Lysova et al.
Crime victimization surveys, especially those that focus on violence against women
tend to report that women are at significantly greater risk of IPV than men. The U.S.
Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which
focused on violence against women, estimated that the average annual rate of vic-
timization by intimate partners was 9.3 per 1,000 women aged 12 or older and 1.4
per 1,000 men aged 12 or older (Bachman & Saltzman, 1995). The data from the
U.S. National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS; Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998)
showed that of 8,000 men and 8,000 women surveyed, 22.1% of women and 7.4% of
men reported a physical assault by an intimate partner across the lifetime; 1.3% of
women and 0.9% of men reported a physical assault by a partner in the previous 12
months. In the 2001 British Crime Survey, 4% of women and 2% of men reported
being victims of nonsexual domestic threats or force in the 12 months prior to inter-
view, while 21% of women and 10% of men reported experiencing IPV in their lifetime
(Walby & Allen, 2004). This difference in gender rates on crime victimization and
general population surveys seems to stem from the respondents’ definition of assault
as a crime. Straus (1999) found that incidence rates increased when the “crime filter”
was removed from reporting criteria (which he ascribed to a “contextual message”
that the respondents should only report assaults resulting in criminal actions). Also,
the focus on “violence against women” may have prevented some men from revealing
their experiences of victimization (Dutton & Nicholls, 2005).
Statistics Canada (2000) attempted to overcome the under-detection of IPV in ear-
lier crime victim surveys. First, for the first time in 1999, Statistics Canada mea-
sured the prevalence of IPV in both men and women. Secondly, it did not “filter” or
discourage male victims from reporting their victimization by presenting the survey
as a study of victimization of women (as both NCVS and NVAWS did). Although the
overall prevalence of both male and female victims of IPV in current and former rela-
tionships declined between 1999 and 2014 (i.e., from 7% to 4.2% for male victims and
from 8% to 3.5% for female victims), the number of male victims of IPV was signif-
icantly higher than the number of female victims of IPV for the first time in 2014
(Bunge, 2000; Burczycka, 2016). At the same time, Statistics Canada does not pro-
vide a detailed breakdown of the percentages of male and female victims by specific
behaviors of physical and sexual IPV, which limits our understanding of the most
prevalent forms of IPV among male victims. The current study fills this gap. It also
extends analyses to other forms of abuse, including controlling behaviors, and to con-
sequences of IPV for both male and female victims.
Controlling Behaviors
Controlling behaviors emphasize the perpetrator’s motivation rather than the impact
such behaviors have on the victim. Controlling behaviors often include economic
deprivation, jealous and possessive behavior, insults and name-calling, threats, and
intimidation (Graham-Kevan, 2007). Studies on nonclinical samples found no differ-
ences in the overall use of controlling behaviors by men and women (Felson & Outlaw,
2007; Fitzpatrick, Salgado, Suvak, King, & King, 2004; Graham-Kevan & Archer,Pdf_Folio:202
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 203
2003; Stets, 1991; Straus, 2008). However, studies based on clinical samples often
suggest that nonphysical controlling behaviors are experienced disproportionately by
women at the hands of men (Myhill, 2015; Stark, 2007). Another study reported men
and women used different types of controlling behavior. For example, Hamby and
Sugarman (1999) found that men more frequently called their partners fat or ugly,
destroyed partner’s property, and made fun of their inability to do things. Women
more frequently insulted and swore at their partners, stomped off during a disagree-
ment, or shouted and yelled at them. Statistics Canada (2000) found that women were
more likely to report being subjected to emotional, threatening, intimidating, and eco-
nomic control. Also, the rates for isolating control were similar for men and women.
In summation, no consistent sex differences in the overall use of controlling behavior
have been found.
Context of IPV According to the Johnson’s Typology
Johnson (2008) has argued that there were at least two distinct forms of IPV: “IT” and
“situational couple violence (SCV).” These two types of relationship aggression dif-
fered mainly on the use of controlling behaviors. Perpetrators in the IT type attempt
to dominate one’s partner by using a wide range of power and control tactics, includ-
ing violence. Partners in the SCV type, however, are not believed to use physical
violence within a general control framework. Using cluster analysis, Johnson (2001)
categorized relationships involving physical aggression and found clear gender dif-
ferences; that is, IT is 97% male (3% of ITs are women) and SCV is only 56% male
(45% are females). An analysis by Johnson and Leone (2000), based on the data from
the NVAWS (Tjaden & Thoennes, 1998) using only women’s reports, found a surpris-
ingly high number of ITs, with 35% of husbands’ violence being classified so. The
same NVAWS data, analyzed by Jasinski et al. (2014), revealed nearly equal rates of
male and female victims of IT (35% and 36% respectively). However, the effects of IT
were more serious and had greater consequences for female than male victims of IPV.
Drawing on the Canadian 1999 GSS data, LaRoche (2005) measured the prevalence
of IPV according to the Johnson’s typology and found that IT in the current relation-
ships was prevalent among 26% of female victims and 19% of male victims.
Consequences of IPV
Research based on police and hospital records consistently shows that women are
overwhelmingly the injured parties in domestic conflicts and report fear much more
often than male victims (Ibrahim, 2016; Sinha, 2013). Population survey studies, how-
ever, provide mixed findings regarding the severity of consequences of IPV for male
and female victims. Both genders reported physical and psychological consequences of
IPV victimization in the 1985 U.S. National Survey (Stets & Straus, 1990), although
these were more frequent for women. In his meta-analytic review, Archer (2000a)
found only a 1/6 of a standard deviation difference for female versus male injuries
from IPV. The U.S. NVAWS found that women who were physically assaulted by a
partner were significantly more likely than their male counterparts to report thatPdf_Folio:203
204 Lysova et al.
they sustained an injury, received medical treatment, or were hospitalized (Tjaden
& Thoennes, 2000). However, when the effects of physical violence were considered
along with the effects of psychological IPV during their lifetime, both genders suf-
fered long-term psychological consequences (depression, anxiety, substance abuse)
from IPV victimization (Coker et al., 2002). NVAWS data also show that compared to
nonvictims, male victims have poorer overall health (Pimlott-Kubiak & Cortina, 2003)
and more functional disabilities (Carbone-López, Kruttschnitt, & Macmillan, 2006).
Research shows that health problems for victims of severe IPV are much worse than
for victims of minor IPV and that this is true of both women (Follingstad, Brennan,
Hause, Polek, & Rutledge, 1991) and men (Hines, Brown, & Dunning, 2007; Hines &
Douglas, 2016).
The Canadian GSS (victimization) data of 2014 was employed for the analysis. Access
to the 2014 GSS (victimization) data was granted by the Simon Fraser Univer-
sity Research Data Center (SFU-RDC). The 2014 GSS surveyed a random sample
of 33,127 noninstitutionalized persons aged 15 years and older living in the 10
Canadian provinces. The survey employed a complex, multistage sampling design
(Statistics Canada, 2016). Respondents completed in-depth telephone interviews con-
cerning the nature and extent of their criminal victimization, including experiences of
IPV. The interviewer from Statistics Canada introduced the study as a crime-related
study that would help “better understand how safe people feel, what they think of
the justice system and their experiences of crime” (Statistics Canada, 2015, p. 15).
Although the initial framing of the IPV data collection was in the context of crime,
the preamble to the section on physical and sexual IPV presented it as “the seri-
ous problem of violence in the home” (Statistics Canada, 2015, p. 122). Questions to
measure emotional and financial abuse by spouse/partner were introduced as merely
“. . . a list of statements that some people have used to describe their spouse/partner”
(Statistics Canada, 2015, p. 118). Therefore, the design of the Canadian victimization
survey helps reduce the demand characteristics that account for “the extremely low
prevalence rate, the implausibly high injury rate, and the high ratio of male to female
assault [perpetrations]” on the traditional crime studies (Straus, 1999, p. 8).
Because this study concerned IPV in heterosexual relationships and the sex of
the intimate partner was identifiable only in the current relationships, we selected a
subsample of respondents using the inclusion criteria, that is, heterosexual respon-
dents who reported being in married/common-law relationships at the time of the
survey. On GSS, only respondents who reported being in married/common-law rela-
tionships were asked questions about IPV within the 5 years preceding the inter-
view. This brought the subsample down to about 44% of the total population (51% of
men).1According to the rules for the release of data at the RDC, all the results mustPdf_Folio:204
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 205
be weighted. Consequently, unweighted results and the model N sizes are prohibited
from being released from the RDC or published.2
Victimization.Physical violence was defined as behavior that threatens, attempts,
or actually inflicts physical harm. The measurement of physical, including sexual,
violence by Statistics Canada follows the revised version of the Conflict Tactics
Scales (CTS2; Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996). Physical (includ-
ing sexual) violence was created by using 11 binary items (i.e., yes/no) that asked
the respondents whether their spouses or partners: Threatened to hit you with their
fist? Threw anything at you that could have hurt you? Pushed/grabbed/shoved?
Slapped? Kicked/bit/hit? Hit with something that could have hurt? Beaten? Choked?
Used/threatened to use a gun/knife? Forced into any unwanted sexual activity? Forced
into sexual activity/not able to consent? The reliability of this scale using Cronbach’s
alpha was 0.78. If the respondent answered positively to at least one of the last seven
items, the acts of physical violence were classified as “severe violence” (Johnson &
Leone, 2005; LaRoche, 2005). Cronbach’s alpha for severe physical violence scale was
0.63. Additionally, we measured the frequency of physical victimization. Respondents
who disclosed at least one act of physical or sexual violence were asked whether their
partner had been violent on more than one occasion in the past 5 years. A dichoto-
mous variable was created for those who experienced violence once or more.
Controlling Behaviors. The emotional and financial abuse module included nine
binary items (i.e., yes/no) assessing various forms of abuse and control. No timeframe
was imposed for this module. For those reporting about a current partner, the items
were worded in the present tense. Respondents were asked if their current partner
perpetrated any of the following acts: Tries to limit contact with family or friends?
Puts you down/calls you names to make you feel bad? Jealousy/doesn’t want you to
talk to other men/women? Harms, or threatens to harm, someone close to you? Harms
or threatens to harm pet(s)? Demands to know who you are with/where you are? Dam-
ages/destroys possessions or property? The questions asked about economic control
were: Prevents you from having access to family income? Forces you to give money, pos-
sessions, or property? All the respondents who answered “Yes” to at least one of these
questions for emotional and financial abuse were coded as having experienced control-
ling behaviors, whereas those who answered “No” to all nine indicators were coded as
having experienced no controlling behaviors. The reliability of this scale using Cron-
bach’s alpha was estimated as 0.99. Consistent with previous studies (Jasinski et al.,
2014; Johnson & Leone, 2005;LaRoche, 2005), respondents were divided into cate-
gories of “low control” and “high control,” as respondents who answered “Yes” to two
or less of the control questions were grouped into the “low control” category while
those who answered “Yes” to three or more were categorized as “high control.”
Consequences of Victimization. Respondents who reported at least one incident
of victimization from physical or sexual violence in the past 5 years were asked
detailed questions about the injuries, emotional consequences and long-term impactPdf_Folio:205
206 Lysova et al.
of this violence. These items also had a binary response format (i.e., yes/no). To mea-
sure injuries, respondents were asked whether during incident/s they were ever phys-
ically injured in any way and received, for example, bruises, cuts, broken bones, or
other types of injury. To measure emotional reaction at the time of the IPV inci-
dent/s (emotional impact module), respondents were asked whether they felt angry;
upset/confused/frustrated; hurt/disappointed; depressed/ashamed/low self-esteem;
shock/disbelief ; or fearful/victimized/afraid for children. Finally, to measure the
long-term impact of IPV (spousal trauma module), for the first time in the 2014 GSS,
respondents were asked questions from the Primary Care posttraumatic stress dis-
order (PTSD) screening tool designed to assess the PTSD-related symptoms. Specif-
ically, they were asked whether in the past month they had nightmares about it or
thought about it when they did not want to; felt numb or detached from others, activi-
ties, or their surroundings; tried hard not to think about it or went out of their way to
avoid situations that reminded them of it; and felt constantly on guard, watchful, or
easily startled.
Analytic Techniques
To examine the prevalence and consequences of IPV and the help-seeking behavior
by gender, we conducted descriptive analyses using cross-tabulations and unadjusted
odds ratios (ORs). To ensure that the sample was representative of the Canadian pop-
ulation and to account for the complex sampling design of the 2014 GSS, the results
in all analyses were weighted and bootstrapped using STATA 13 with the personal
and bootstrap weights provided by Statistics Canada. Any estimates that were based
on 10 or fewer responses were deemed unreliable and therefore were neither tested
for statistically significant differences between groups nor presented in the tables.
Logistic regression was used to generate ORs.
Characteristics of the Respondents
Men and women in the sample did not significantly differ on most of the sociodemo-
graphic and relationship variables. In other words, men and women were similar in
age, race, education level, place of residence, years lived together, and presence of
children in the household. The only difference between men and women in the sam-
ple was in relation to the personal income with three times as many men than women
earning $100,000 or more. At the same time, the household income did not signifi-
cantly differ between men and women in the sample.
Prevalence of Physical and Sexual IPV
The study found that men were significantly more likely than women to report being
victimized by a current heterosexual partner in the past 5 years. As Table 2 shows,
2.9% of the men and 1.7% of the women reported being physically and/or sexuallyPdf_Folio:206
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 207
TABLE 1. Sociodemographic and Relationship Characteristics of Men and
Women in the Subsample (44% of the Total Sample)
and Relation-
ship Variables
Age 91.6 .402
15–29 6.6 3.8
30–44 29.9 28.0
45–59 34.1 34.4
60–74 23.1 25.3
75+ 6.4 8.6
Race 2.16 .836
White 82.3 81.4
Non-White 17.7 18.6
Education 10.2 .887
High school 31.8 34.2
College 35.6 33.9
University 32.6 31.9
Personal income 1091.1 <.001
Below $40,000 59.9 33.0
$40,000–$99,999 34.2 48.5
Above $100,000 5.9 18.5
2.25 .970
Below $40,000 10.2 10.3
$40,000–$99,999 42.9 41.5
Above $100,000 46.9 48.2
Place of residence 0.65 .886
Urban 83.3 83.8
Rural 16.7 16.2
Years lived
9.05 .997
0–9 21.0 21.5
10–19 22.2 23.0
20–29 18.7 19.6
30–39 17.7 16.5
40–49 12.7 12.6
50+ 7.7 6.8
Presence of
children in the
0.63 .896
None 47.0 46.4
One or more 53.0 53.6
208 Lysova et al.
assaulted, and 1.1% of the men and 0.5% of the women reported experiencing severe
forms of IPV. Although none of the men reported being sexually assaulted in the
current intimate relationships, men were more likely than women to report being
slapped, kicked, bit, hit, threatened with battery, or that something dangerous was
thrown at them. The odds of men reporting that they were physically assaulted
were 1.7 times that of women (2= 12.7, p< .001) and the odds of men reporting
that they experienced severe physical assault were 2.1 times that of women (2= 9,
p< .01). In terms of the frequency of assaults among the victims, 40% of these respon-
dents experienced more than two incidents of physical assaults within the past five
years. However, the frequency of violence suffered at the hands of current partners did
not differ significantly between male and female victims (42% and 39%, respectively,
2= 0.17, p> .05).
Prevalence of Controlling Behaviors
Table 3 reveals that men were significantly more likely than women to report
being victims of at least one of the forms of controlling behaviors (10.1% and 6.8%
Victims of Self-Reported Physical and Sexual Intimate Partner
Violence in the Current Opposite Sex Relationships Within the Past 5 Years,
by Sex, 2014
Type of Violence Female Male Total ORaChi-
Threatened to hit
Threw anything
Pushed, grabbed,
Hit with object
Beat up/choked/use
of or threat of use of
Being forced into
sexual activity/not
able to consent
Total physical/sexual
Severe physical IPV
aOdds ratio (OR) in this table refers to female as the reference category.
*p< .05.**p< .01.*** p< .001.
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 209
respectively, 2= 13.4, p< .001). The odds of men reporting that they experienced
being limited from contacting their family or friends by their female partners were
1.8 times that of women and the odds of having experienced acts of jealousy by their
female partners (i.e., did not want the respondent to talk to other men or women) was
2.1 times that of women. Also, men were more likely to experience their female part-
ners demanding their whereabouts than women (4.6% and 2.5% respectively, 2= 28,
p< .001). Conversely, men were less likely to have their close ones or pets harmed or
threatened by their female partners than women (2= 10.3, p< .01) and were also
less likely to be prevented access to the family income by their female partners than
women (2= 6.6, p< .05).
Victims of Low and High Controlling Behavior
The results in Table 4 show that about two-thirds of cases of IPV involving the cur-
rent spouse/partner reported by both male and female victims in this sample could
be classified as SCV and 35% as IT. This large percentage of IT victims and the
Victims of Self-Reported Emotional and Financial Intimate
Partner Abuse (Controlling Behaviors) Among Victims of Physical and
Sexual Intimate Partner Violence in the Current Opposite Sex Relationships
Within the Past 5 Years, by Sex, 2014
Variables Female Male Total ORaChi-
Weighted (%)
Emotional IPV
Limit contact
Calls names
Harms others and/or
Demands whereabouts
Damages your property
Financial IPV
Prevents your access to
family income
Forces you to give
money, possession, or
Total emotional and
financial IPV
Odds ratio (OR) in this table refers to female as the reference category.
*p< .05. **p< .01. *** p< .001.
210 Lysova et al.
TABLE 4. Type of Controlling Behavior Reported by the Victim of a Current
Spouse/Partner, by Severity of Violence and Sex of Victim
Sex of Victim and
Severity of Violence
Situational Couple
Violence, %
Terrorism, %
Total %
Male 65 35 100
Minor violence 40 13 53
Severe violence 25 22 47
Female 66 34 100
Minor violence 50 15 65
Severe violence 16 19 35
similarity in the rates of male and female victims of IT (35% and 34% respectively)
is consistent with findings based on the NVAWS (Jasinski et al., 2014; Johnson &
Leone, 2000). Moreover, consistent with Johnson’s typology, physical violence embed-
ded in a general pattern of control (IT) appears to be more associated with severe than
with minor violence for both male and female victims. However, more men reported
severe violence in the context of IT than women (22% and 19% respectively).
Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of IPV
Table 5 shows that male victims were significantly less likely than female victims
to report physical injuries and short-term emotional impacts of IPV. At the same
time, 12% of male victims had experienced physical injury resulting from a physical
assault (compared to 27% of female victims of IPV). About one quarter of male victims
reported that they felt angry and another quarter of men reported feeling upset, con-
fused, and frustrated during the IPV incidents. About 11% of male victims felt hurt
or disappointed at the time of the IPV incidents. About 6% of men felt victimized,
fearful for themselves or for their children. Moreover, there were similar rates for sev-
eral long-term effects of spousal trauma associated with the PTSD-related symptoms
among both male and female victims. These effects include the feeling of numbness
or detachment due to the IPV experience, avoidance of situation that reminds one
of the IPV experience, and being on guard and easily startled due to the IPV expe-
rience. However, female victims of IPV were significantly more likely to experience
nightmares or obsessive thoughts about IPV than male victims.
The data from this study revealed that men were significantly more likely than their
female counterparts to report experiencing physical IPV by an intimate partner in a
current relationship in the last 5 years. High rates of male victimization comparable
with victimization rates of women have been detected in several other studies based
on different samples and designs, including meta-analyses (Archer, 2000a; DesmaraisPdf_Folio:210
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 211
TABLE 5. Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence for Male and Female
Type of
Female Male Total ORaChi-
Weighted (%)
Respondent was
injured in any way
in the past 5 years
27.2 12.3 17.8 0.38 7.5**
Emotional impact at the time of the IPV incidents
Angry 36.8 24.1 28.7 0.54 3.5*
Upset, confused,
42.9 26.8 32.6 0.49 5.4*
Hurt or
26.2 10.5 16.1 0.33 6.81**
20.8 8 12.6 0.33 4.36***
Shocked/disbelief 22.7 8.4 13.5 0.31 5.49*
Fearful, victimized
and/or afraid for
the children
30.4 6.1 14.8 0.15 12.5***
Spousal trauma (long-term effects of IPV)
Had nightmares or
thought about IPV
when I did not
want to
19.9 6.7 13.1 0.29 6.62*
Felt numb or
detached from
others/activities as
a result of IPV
18.6 10.5 14.4 0.51 1.35
Avoid situations
that reminded me
of IPV
29 19.4 24.1 0.59 1.40
Constantly on
guard, watchful
and easily startled
14.7 15.7 15.2 1.1 0.02
aOdds ratio (OR) in this table refers to female as the reference category.
*p< .05. **p< .01. *** p< .001.
212 Lysova et al.
et al., 2012a; Jasinski et al., 2014; Straus, 2008; Whitaker, Haileyesus, Swahn, &
Saltzman, 2007). Most of these studies examined IPV on the basis of current or previ-
ous relationship combined, while the current study focused on IPV experiences only in
the current relationships, which can explain the somewhat different gender dynam-
ics with higher rates of male victimization in our study (Ansara & Hindin, 2010).
Higher rates of male than female IPV victimization in the current large-scale pop-
ulation survey appear to be inconsistent with the information provided by the police-
reported data on IPV-related offenses. That is, police statistics in Canada (and other
countries) consistently show that women are much more likely to become victims of
IPV-related offenses than men. In 2015, four out of five victims of IPV-related offenses
in Canada were women (79%), representing about 72,000 female victims (compared
to 19,000 male victims; Burczycka, 2016). Women were more likely than men to be
reported as victims of intimate partner homicide, sexual assaults, criminal harass-
ment, and uttering threats in the intimate relationship. This clearly indicates the
severity of IPV against women.
At the same time, research studies suggest that men hardly report being
abused to the police, even if they experience severe IPV (Douglas & Hines, 2011).
According to the 2009 Canadian GSS data, female victims of IPV were three times
more likely to report violent incidents to the police than male victims of IPV (Bren-
nan, 2011). In 2014, 76% of male victims reported that the IPV had not been
brought to the attention of police compared to 64% of female victims (Burczycka,
2016). Furthermore, male victims of IPV were more likely to mention that they
were more dissatisfied with the response of the police to their abusive experience
than female victims (Burczycka, 2016). The 2014 GSS also revealed that female
victims of IPV were almost four times more likely than male victims of IPV to report
having a restraining order enacted against their current or former spouse. These find-
ings did not differ in any significant way from the 2009 GSS findings (Burczycka,
2016). Capaldi et al. (2009) found in a longitudinal study in Oregon, United States
that mutually violent couples whose violence level increased on one occasion and who
called police resulted in arrest of the male in 85% of cases, despite the records of prior
violence by both parties.
Thus, the chiffre noir of crime is a major and persistent problem of the police data.
Police statistics reflect only the crimes that came to the attention of the police, and
these crimes are likely to be particularly serious. Victimization surveys capture many
other assaults that did not come to the attention of police and thus provide a comple-
mentary aspect of IPV, especially with data on men’s victimization experiences.
Another noteworthy finding of this study relates to the context of IPV experienced
by male victims. This study is one of few that examined types of controlling behavior
(i.e., low and high control) by severity of physical IPV for both female and male vic-
tims. Most of the previous studies examined the context of female victimization only
and found that about 35% of female victims of IPV in the general population were
victims of the most severe type of abuse known as IT (Johnson & Leone, 2000). Our
study found that about the same number of male and female victims had experienced
high controlling behavior in the context of IPV in Canada (35% and 34% respectively).
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 213
These findings are consistent with few other studies that examined the context of
male victimization (Bates, Graham-Kevan, & Archer, 2014; Jasinski et al., 2014). The
finding that needs to be examined in further studies is the large number of male vic-
tims (22%) compared to 19% of female victims who were found to have experienced
severe physical violence along with high controlling behaviors. Although previous
studies suggested that the effects of IT on male victims can be nearly as detrimen-
tal on female victims of IT (Hines & Douglas, 2010), IT represents a different phe-
nomenon when it affects men (Jasinski et al., 2014).
Another important finding of the current study pertains to the long-term effects of
IPV on male victims. Although female victims more often than male victims reported
the injuries and short-term emotional effects of IPV (which is consistent with Archer,
2000a; Sillito, 2012; Stets & Straus, 1990; Straus & Gozjolko, 2014), most of the long-
term effects of IPV associated with PTSD-related symptoms (e.g., feeling numb or
detached from others and activities, avoiding situations that reminded the victims
of IPV, being constantly on guard, watchful and easily startled) did not differ signif-
icantly between male and female victims of IPV. While there is some debate in the
literature about gender effects in reactions to abuse, Coker et al. (2002), in an analy-
sis of the U.S. NVAWS data, found similar negative physical and psychological effects
of abuse victimization for both genders. Men’s lower short-term emotional reactions
to IPV may be due to gender differences in the perception of abuse (Jasinski et al.,
2014) or to male socialization that dictate men to not look weak (Addis & Mahalik,
2003; Stanko & Hobdell, 1993) or disclose fear or anxiety (Brooks et al., 2017). Fur-
ther research is required to ascertain and explore which mechanisms are at work.
Overall, the findings of this study support the view that IPV is a serious problem for
both male and female victims.
Limitations and Potentials for Future Research
Several limitations of this study must be borne in mind when extrapolating from
the results. This study focused on the current spouse/partner relationships and pre-
vious studies suggest that the prevalence and dynamics of IPV can be different in
both men and women’s prior relationships (e.g., Ansara & Hindin, 2010). Also, Statis-
tics Canada framed its survey in a crime context, which could suppress the incidence
of reporting of abuse and produce high ratio of male to female assault perpetra-
tions (Straus, 1999). However, these limitations of crime studies seem irrelevant for
the Canadian GSS. As explained earlier, Statistics Canada attempted to overcome
the under-detection of IPV in its crime victim surveys. Although the general frame of
the survey focused on safety of Canadians and their experiences of crime, the specific
questions about physical and sexual IPV were introduced as “serious problem of vio-
lence in the home” (Statistics Canada, 2015, p. 122). This framing may explain higher
rates of IPV in current and previous relationships detected by GSS (i.e., 3.9% in 2014
and 6.2% in 2009, Burczycka, 2016) than expected in traditional crime studies (0.2%–
2.0%, Straus, 1999). Also, crime studies typically produced a higher ratio of male to
female assault perpetrations than family violence studies (Straus, 1999). However,Pdf_Folio:213
214 Lysova et al.
the current study found higher rates of IPV victimization for men than women. There-
fore, the design that also includes the “family conflict” framework and the findings
suggest that the Canadian victimization survey is not a typical crime study but rather
a hybrid survey design study.
One of the limitations of the 2014 GSS is that the respondents were asked only
about the IPV victimization experiences, so it was not possible to establish the extent
to which IPV was bidirectional using this data. A growing body of IPV literature, how-
ever, suggests that bidirectionality is a characteristic of most couples that experience
violence and that this mutual violence is associated with severe injuries to partners
(Charles, Whitaker, Le, Swahn, & DiClemente, 2011; Dim & Ogunye, 2017; Madsen,
Stith, Thomsen, & McCollum, 2012; Melander, Noel, & Tyler, 2010; Palmetto, David-
son, Breirbart, & Rickert, 2013; Whitaker et al., 2007). A meta-analysis of 25 peer-
reviewed studies by Park and Kim (2017) revealed that there is a significant overlap
between IPV victimization and perpetration. Thus, it is possible that the majority of
male and female victims of IPV in this study were involved in perpetrating IPV as
well. However, victims who were identified as experiencing IT were the least likely
to be involved in bidirectional violence (Johnson, 2008; Johnson & Leone, 2005).
In addition, several claims have been made regarding the validity of the CTS, with
which the 2014 GSS collected its data (Ackerman, 2016; Kimmel, 2002). For example,
Ackerman (2016) claimed that the male participants were more likely to misinterpret
the contents of the CTS, in that the event was an accident or was not taken seri-
ously. However, these arguments about male “over use” of the CTS are contradicted
by results of national surveys reported by Desmarais et al. (2012a, 2012b) which show
that male self-reports of victimization are lower than female reports of perpetration.
Specifically, summed across large-scale surveys, the average reported victimization
rate by men was 18% but the average perpetration rate reported by women was
23%. Moreover, many other researchers have argued that the revised CTS2 properly
accounts for the context of violence and separates incidents of play fighting and actual
assault (Archer, 2000b; Felson, 2002; Jouriles & Kamata, 2016; Straus, 2016). Also,
the use of a 5-year timeframe combined with the relative salience of IPV rendered
recall bias unlikely to have contributed to underreporting IPV in the current study.
This study found a large number of men in Canada who suffered from IT and expe-
rienced long-term traumatic effects of IPV. The subject of addressing IPV, especially
within the criminal justice system, requires an inclusive framework for both male and
female victims. Addressing IPV should not be a zero-sum game, in which address-
ing male victims will deny female victims attention or resources. While this study
drew attention to the problem of male IPV victimization, it did find women experi-
enced higher chances of injuries from IPV that necessitates the continuing efforts to
address violence against women in the relationships. Thus, the debate on IPV should
be inclusive of both genders, which points to the nuanced nature and complexity of
IPV (Hamel & Nicholls, 2007; ). As our study suggests, we need to be considerate ofPdf_Folio:214
Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 215
the experiences of male victims of IPV that can be both similar to and different from
those of women.
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People who identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual were about 2%.
2. One of the weights allowed for the release of descriptive and bivariate data in the
RDC is the “svy” weight through which the general population can be reflected
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Prevalence and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Canada 221
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Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to Alexandra Lysova, Simon
Fraser University, School of Criminology, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, V5A1S6,
BC, Canada.
... 2a: Men disproportionately perpetrate IT, and women are more likely to perpetrate VR as the disproportionate IT victims Using mixed-sex samples, 11 studies tested the assumption that men were more likely to perpetrate IT; this was supported by 8 studies, including one study on adolescent dating violence (Messinger et al., 2014). The others found comparable rates of IT for men and women (Brown & Chew, 2018;Jasinski et al., 2014;Lysova et al., 2019). Zweig et al. (2014) found that rates of perpetration varied by respondent sex, with both adolescent girls and boys reporting IT victimization and VR perpetration at higher rates than IT perpetration. ...
... For example, male IT perpetrators were more likely to use higher control and more frequent physical aggression than female IT perpetrators (Graham-Kevan & Archer, 2003bMichalski, 2005). However, others found that men and women IT perpetrators did not differ on the frequency or severity of violence (Jasinski et al., 2014); and male IT victims reported more severe victimization than female IT victims (Lysova et al., 2019). ...
... Moreover, regardless of IPV type, women were more likely to be injured, depressed, and use painkillers than male victims. Others found that men and women respondents reported male IPV perpetrators as inflicting more injury (Brown & Chew, 2018;Graham-Kevan & Archer, 2008;Jasinski et al., 2014;Lysova et al., 2019). Eckstein (2016) found that women IT victims experienced more IPV-related stigma than other victims, and Jasinski et al. (2014) found that female IT victims were more likely to leave the relationship than men. ...
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Purpose To assess the state of empirical research on Johnson’s typology of violence. Method Using the PRISMA Statement guidelines, we systematically review and critically evaluate peer-reviewed, empirical research studies testing Johnson’s typology, published 1995 to March 31, 2021. Findings Forty-four studies tested Johnson’s typology using accurate conceptualization and operationalization of the typology. Findings from included studies provided overwhelming support for Johnson’s typology, with only few exceptions. Conclusions Direct tests of Johnson’s assumptions are necessary for revising and strengthening the utility of the typology. Future research should carefully attend to the conceptual definitions of Johnson’s typology and integrate explicit testing of assumptions throughout study designs.
... In conducting research into male and female victims of DA, it is important that data on the numbers of each group be collected using multiple sources including police and crime data, research studies, and national surveys (Dixon et al. 2020;Lysova et al. 2020b). Reliance only on police report numbers will likely yield results that do not reflect the actual numbers of male victims, given their frequent reluctance to report their experiences (Lysova et al. 2019;Lysova et al. 2020b). Further research on the needs of male victims of DA may then be used to demonstrate the need for services as well as seek funding to help cover expenses (Tsui et al. 2010). ...
... There are several barriers that may stand in the way of implementing some of the changes outlined in this literature review. First, there is the possibility that current gender and ideological paradigms may result in reluctance to acknowledge the commonality or severity of male victimization (Bohall et al. 2016;Hall 2012;Lysova et al. 2019). This is especially true if increasing focus on male victims is viewed as minimizing or competing for focus on female victims (Hall 2012). ...
... Bias in the social sciences towards female victims of DA may not only result in a failure to reach a consensus about the kinds of programs and services needed to support male victims, but it may result in research approaches that are dedicated more towards preserving the current status quo rather than seeking the truth (Dutton 2010;Hall 2012). Another potential barrier lies in the frequent reliance on police data to reflect the spectrum of DA (Lysova et al. 2019). Because many male victims are reluctant to report their victimization to police, reliance on such data for studies and for the development of programs may lead to the inaccurate belief that fewer resources are needed for this population (Hall 2012;Lysova et al. 2019). ...
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Male victims of domestic abuse (DA) face a number of barriers to seeking help from their abusive relationships. Though available research has focussed primarily on exploring many of these challenges, few suggestions have been made on how to reduce or resolve them. It is necessary to establish a comprehensive plan to affect change at multiple levels in society in order to improve outcomes for this under-served population. This paper begins with a literature review examining in detail the many reasons why male victims of DA may refuse to seek help in an abusive relationship. Using the main key words, male victims combined with several common phrases related to the phenomenon of abuse including domestic abuse, domestic violence, and intimate partner violence, the review revealed several common reasons that male victims of DA refuse to seek help. These reasons include refusal or reluctance to view their experiences as abuse, hesitancy to identify with victimizing language, lack of available supportive services, embarrassment, shame, loss of masculinity, fear of being judged or disbelieved by others, fear of police response, and devotion to their family. Based on this review, a list of suggestions by the author is provided for changes that can be made to counter these barriers and improve male help-seeking. These suggestions are comprised of four broad themes: increasing public awareness, addressing the unique needs of male victims of DA, improving training for service providers, and increasing funding for services targeted to male victims of DA. A section exploring some of the unique concerns of gay, bisexual, and transgender men is included. International trends in the development and provision of services for male victims show that while increasing attention is being given to this vulnerable population, there are still significant gaps in available supports.
... Research also identified a type of female perpetrators (known as "generally violent" women) who used violence in various situations, including intimate relationships, mostly for retribution, gaining compliance or control, and who demonstrated many traumatic symptoms (e.g., memory problems, a desire to hurt themselves) (Babcock et al., 2003). Studies of intimate terrorism (when one partner unilaterally controls or also physically abuses the other in the intimate relationship) found that men become victims of intimate terrorism at far higher rates than thought before (Hines & Douglas, 2019;Jasinski et al., 2014;Lysova et al., 2019). ...
... Scholarly research and practical interventions should more fully consider male victims of female perpetrated IPH for two reasons. First, emergent survey-based research suggests men are highly vulnerable to various types of intimate partner violence (IPV), including severe psychological and physical violence (Brooks et al., 2020;Hines & Douglas, 2019;Lysova et al., 2019). For example, the Canadian General Social Survey found that about 64,000 men experienced chronic and severe physical and psychological violence with a high probability of injuries and adverse emotional effects in their ongoing relationship between 2004 and 2014 (Lysova & Dim, 2020). ...
... Our findings imply that the news media's prevalent focus on doubting the male victim and excusing the female perpetrator oversimplifies a complex situation through episodic and minimalizing news representation. The recent scholarship has found a large number of men suffer from various types of IPV, including physical violence, psychological, financial, sexual, legal and administrative abuse, parental alienation, and homicide (Dutton & White, 2013;Hines & Douglas, 2019;Lysova et al., 2019). This suggests that earlier abusive behaviors by female perpetrators may be underrepresented. ...
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Media research on intimate partner homicide (IPH) has primarily focused on male perpetrators and female victims. This study analyzed 203 English-language news articles of IPH involving male victims and female perpetrators for the year 2019. Using thematic analysis, we identified two main themes: doubting the victim (who is the victim?) and victim recognition (“he didn’t deserve this”). The findings suggest that male victims of female perpetrated IPH tend to be blamed for their victimization and represented as non-ideal and illegitimate victims in the news media.
... 338-339;Flood, 2012;Rosen et al., 2009); 3. prioritize paternal contact over women/children's safety from violence (Boyd, 2006, pp. 26-27;Crowley, 2009;Flood, 2010, p. 33;Rosen et al., 2009;Watson & Ancis, 2013, p. 168); 4. frame claims of violence and anti-violence advocacy as a feminist assault on fathers (Crowley, 2009;; 5. focus on gender symmetry in the perpetration of intimate partner violence Crowley, 2009a, p. 741;Dragiewicz, 2008, p. 137;Lysova et al., 2019;Rosen et al., 2009); 6. suggest that policies aimed at preventing violence are a hindrance to father-child relationships (Crowley, 2009, p. 226;Davis, 2004, p. 299) and exist at the "expense of honest, innocent dads" (Crowley, 2008, p. 160); and 7. dismiss the relationship between patriarchy and violence (Dragiewicz, 2008, p. 124;Rosen et al., 2009). ...
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The existing literature and research on fathers in movements demonstrate differing approaches to understanding fatherhood, men’s engagement in the family pre/post separation, family law, and fatherhood/fathers’ rights activism. However, these approaches often fail to address the experiences of fathers, as well as fatherhood activists and movements, that exist outside the narrative created by the fathers’ rights-based approaches and pro-feminist responses that currently dominate the dialogue surrounding the issues of fatherhood movements/groups and the rights of fathers. Based on this problematization of the existing frameworks for and examinations of fatherhood movements, this two-part study examined the social engagement and experiences of fathers who belong to fatherhood groups across Canada, with a strong focus on British Columbia (BC). Phase one was an investigation of the parallel fathers’ rights movement (FRM) and involved fatherhood movement (IFM) Canada-wide. I conducted a qualitative content analysis of these two discourses through their online presence and activism, such as blogs, websites, and online resources. Phase two dovetailed off this analysis through in-depth interviews with fathers engaged in the FRM and IFM in BC, including a few fathers who reside outside of BC but were active in national groups engaged in this province. Together, the two phases provide an examination of fatherhood and fatherhood movements within a critical masculinities framework. This analysis highlights the privilege inherent within fatherhood groups and the exclusionary politics within these movements that resulted in the absence of the voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) and marginalized fathers (e.g., fathers of low-socioeconomic status). Further, this research reflects on these fathers’ beliefs that they face disadvantage in family law proceedings, and problematizes and challenges their claims of bias, discrimination, and oppression. The concluding analysis also demonstrates the privilege, power, oppression, and inclusion/exclusion within fatherhood groups, movements, and discourses overall. Ultimately, this study captured men’s nuanced experiences with fatherhood and parenting pre/post separation, within the current socio-legal and familial contexts.
... Men report sustaining psychological violence, followed by physical violence, and in lower prevalence, sexual violence (Hines & Douglas, 2016). Although women are at greater risk of serious injury and death compared with men victims, IPV against men is also associated with a range of negative consequences, such as physical (e.g., cardiovascular disease), mental health (posttraumatic stress symptoms, suicidal ideation), and social (isolation and job loss) harm (Hines & Douglas, 2016;Lysova et al., 2019). ...
Research has shown that male victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) are less likely than women to seek formal and informal help. Studies have identified internal barriers (e.g., shame) and external and structural barriers (e.g., limited availability of services), rooted in hegemonic masculinity norms, that explain this underutilization of help. There is also evidence of recent changes in the cultural understanding of masculinity, but these new insights have yet to be incorporated in theories of male IPV and related help-seeking. The purpose of the present study was to obtain a deeper understanding of the help-seeking decisions, barriers, and facilitators of formal and informal help-seeking among male IPV victims. In-depth interviews were conducted with a community sample of 17 Israeli men who self-identified as having been subjected to IPV. Thematic analysis revealed that help-seeking decisions were shaped by a lack of awareness of the need for help, expected outcomes of help-seeking, and actual help-seeking attempts, which together created both barriers and facilitators. Three barriers were identified; they were related to masculinity ideals, failure to recognize victimization, and family values. In addition, three facilitators of help-seeking were identified; they were related to recognizing victimization, access to online social networks, and the fatherhood role. The findings indicate that the barriers and facilitators were interrelated, reflecting the interlocking changing social constructs of masculinity, victimization, and family values. These research findings may contribute to the development of strategies to encourage help-seeking behaviors, such as gender-inclusive education and training of practitioners in IPV services.
... The literature often stresses that "sex matters" within discussions of IPV outcomes partly because women experience more injuries (Archer, 2000;Cho & Wilke, 2010;Desmarais et al., 2012;Lysova et al., 2019). However, men also experience injury. ...
Research suggests that there are differences between sexes in physical intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization that could lead to different injury patterns. In addition, research shows that men under-report their injuries yet may suffer grave consequences. It is, thus, vital to establish physical injury patterns in male IPV victims. A retrospective review of prospectively collected data was performed using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program data from 2005 to 2015 for all IPV-related injuries in both male and female patients. Sex differences by demographics, mechanism, anatomic location, and diagnoses of IPV injuries were analyzed using statistical methods accounting for the weighted stratified nature of the data. IPV accounted for 0.61% of all emergency department visits; 17.2% were in males and 82.8% in females. Male patients were older (36.1% vs. 16.8% over 60 years), more likely to be Black (40.5% vs. 28.8%), sustained more injuries due to cutting (28.1% vs. 3.5%), more lacerations (46.9% vs. 13.0%), more injuries to the upper extremity (25.8% vs. 14.1%), and fewer contusions/abrasions (30.1% vs. 49.0%), compared to female IPV patients (p < .0001). There were also more hospitalizations in men (7.9% vs. 3.7% p = .0002). Knowledge of specific IPV-related injury characteristics in men will enable healthcare providers to counteract underreporting of IPV.
... A recent review of national population-based IPV estimates for women in North and South America reported that annual rates of physical and/ or sexual IPV ranged from 1.1% in Canada to 27.1% in Bolivia (Bott et al., 2021). According to a national victimization survey in Canada (Lysova et al., 2019), 2.9% of men and 1.7% of women reported experiencing physical and/ or sexual IPV in their current romantic relationship within the last 5 years. Among 10,565 U.S. college students, researchers reported the following proportions of men and women, respectively, who endorsed experiencing different types of IPV at least once during their time in college: 33.8% and 38.1% endorsed physical IPV perpetration, 41.9% and 32.4% endorsed physical IPV victimization, 23.0% and 13.6% endorsed sexual IPV perpetration, 27.0% and 30.1% endorsed sexual IPV victimization, 86.5% and 86.4% endorsed psychological IPV perpetration, and 86.5% and 83.0% ...
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Pornography use and intimate partner violence (IPV) are both prevalent in romantic relationships. However, information is lacking about whether pornography use predicts IPV. This study examined the relation between frequency of pornography use (FPU) and IPV across a span of 4 months in a sample of 132 different-sex couple dyads. At least one partner in each couple was attending a Canadian university. Participants ( N = 264) completed online measures of pornography use, IPV, and social desirability at baseline and at a 4-month follow-up. Two longitudinal actor–partner interdependence models using a structural equation framework to conduct path analyses demonstrated that (a) higher FPU among men at baseline predicted increases in IPV perpetration and victimization from baseline to 4-month follow-up for both men and women and (b) women’s baseline FPU did not predict change in IPV over time for themselves or their partners. These findings suggest that frequent pornography use among male partners in different-sex romantic relationships may represent an under-recognized risk factor for IPV, and further research is needed to identify latent factors that may be contributing to this relation. Although women’s baseline FPU did not predict changes in IPV over time, this may be because women used pornography less frequently than men.
... As official statistics underestimate the prevalence of abuse against older adults, policy-makers, practitioners, and the general public may believe that elder abuse is not a pressing issue (Lysova et al., 2019;Roger et al., 2015), and not worthy of the support and attention needed to end the abuse (Castle et al., 2015;Wang, Brisbin, et al., 2015). Increasing resources and support at the provincial level would serve these older populations better. ...
Full-text available
This tri-provincial mixed methods study explores the reasons for under reporting abuse of older adults in the Prairie Provinces of Canada. Abuse of community-residing older adults, and specifically the reasons for not reporting such abuse, is poorly understood. This paper discusses the findings of the qualitative arm of the study that collected data through interviews with older adults having histories of abuse, their family members and service providers from related sectors. Content analysis was employed to identify three key themes: (1) recognizing and naming abuse; (2) barriers to disclosure; and (3) facilitators of reporting. Recommendations are made to improve awareness, education, and service provision in prevention and treatment of the abuse of community-residing older adults.
... It used a large probability sample of 33,000 people representative of the Canadian population to study both the prevalence and consequences of IPV for both men and women. 34 Being a random sample, the results were able to be analysed statistically and tested for significance. This high-quality research has been subsequently cited by multiple researchers. ...
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Domestic abuse has been in the news this year. And a recent report commissioned by the Anglican Church of Australia is disturbing. “Anglicans are more likely to have been in a violent relationship with an intimate partner in their lifetime than the broader Australian community,” said The Australian. Understandably, Anglican Church authorities were shocked by these alarming findings. They promptly responded with a promise to take action: “Ten Commitments for Prevention and Response to Domestic and Family Violence in the Anglican Church of Australia”. However, the validity of the alarming claims in the Anglican report have been seriously questioned by Christian ministers David Robertson and David Ould. How do the findings of the Anglican study compare with high-quality Australian and international research? This paper reviews some of the available evidence.
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Although many studies have concluded that men and women engage in domestic violence at equal levels, existing studies have hardly focused on gender specific risk factors for domestic violence perpetration. Therefore, this study aimed to examine gender differences in criminogenic risk factors between Dutch male and female forensic outpatients who were referred to forensic treatment for domestic violence. Clinical structured assessments of criminogenic risk factors were retrieved for 366 male and 87 female outpatients. Gender differences were not only found in the prevalence and interrelatedness of criminogenic risk factors, but also in associations between criminogenic risk factors and treatment dropout. In men, risk factors related to the criminal history, substance abuse, and criminal attitudes were more prevalent than in women, whereas risk factors related to education/work, finances, and the living environment were more prevalent in women. Further, having criminal friends, having a criminal history, and drug abuse were associated with treatment dropout in men, whereas a problematic relationship with family members, housing instability, a lack of personal support, and unemployment were associated with treatment dropout in women. Finally, network analyses revealed gender differences in risk factor interrelatedness. The results provide important insights into gender specific differences in criminogenic risk factors for domestic violence, which support clinical professionals in tailoring treatment to the specific needs of male and female perpetrators of domestic violence.
The occurrence of aggressive behavior in intimate relationships carries serious mental and physical health consequences for the victims and children exposed to such events. Studies have been devoted toward understanding the nature and prevalence of the phenomenon; however, there has been a paucity of empirical investigation into the complexities and nuances of the subject matter, and this study seeks to address one of such complexities. This study examines the dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV) within the context of perpetration and victimization among residents in Bariga Local Community Development Area in Lagos State, Nigeria. Using a cross-sectional survey, 218 married residents of the area were analyzed through bivariate and multivariate regression analysis. The results of the study revealed that gender and socioeconomic factors were not associated with IPV victimization. Educational differences between the respondent and spouse were associated with IPV victimization. Individuals who perpetrated IPV were about 19 times more likely to experience IPV. This study sheds light on the areas of IPV that tend to be ignored in academic literature and it calls for more empirical investigation, both at the quantitative and qualitative levels, to be conducted for better understanding of the subject matter.
Background: Dating violence (DV) is a serious problem with devastating consequences. Often, research on DV has focused on two distinct groups: victims and perpetrators. However, there is growing evidence for a victim-perpetrator overlap model, which posits that those involved in DV are more likely to take on both roles, rather than either role on its own. Purpose: We investigated the patterns of involvement in DV among those who identified themselves as victims or perpetrators in previous studies. Method: This was a systematic review and meta-analysis. A total of 371 variables related to participants' previous and concurrent experiences of DV victimization or perpetration (202 variables related to victimization and 169 related to perpetration) were identified in 25 studies, which were found by systematically searching three databases: PubMed, Web of Science, and SCOPUS. Results: The majority of previous studies categorized study participants as either DV victims or perpetrators; however, those who identified themselves as either DV victims or DV perpetrators were more likely to assume the opposite role as well. Specifically, current DV perpetrators had a strong association with previous or concurrent victimization experiences, and current DV victims were similarly likely to have assumed the roles of both victim and perpetrator in their histories. Conclusion: Further efforts should be put into avoiding categorization of those involved in violence; rather, they should be regarded as a single group. Additionally, evidence-based interventions should be developed for this population to help break the cycle of violence.
There is a substantive body of research focusing on women’s experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV), but a lack of qualitative studies focusing on men’s experiences as victims of IPV. This article addresses this gap in the literature by paying particular attention to hegemonic masculinities and men’s perceptions of IPV. Men (N = 9) participated in in-depth interviews. Interview data were rigorously subjected to thematic analysis, which revealed five key themes in the men’s narratives: fear of IPV, maintaining power and control, victimization as a forbidden narrative, critical understanding of IPV, and breaking the silence. Although the men share similar stories of victimization as women, the way this is influenced by their gendered histories is different. While some men reveal a willingness to disclose their victimization and share similar fear to women victims, others reframe their victim status in a way that sustains their own power and control. The men also draw attention to the contextual realities that frame abuse, including histories of violence against the women who used violence and the realities of communities suffering intergenerational affects of colonized histories. The findings reinforce the importance of in-depth qualitative work toward revealing the context of violence, understanding the impact of fear, victimization, and power/control on men’s mental health as well as the outcome of legal and support services and lack thereof. A critical discussion regarding the gendered context of violence, power within relationships, and addressing men’s need for support without redefining victimization or taking away from policies and support for women’s ongoing victimization concludes the work.
This commentary considers Hamby’s (2016) use of a qualifier that specifies “Not including horseplay or joking around” when assessing intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization. We highlight some of the thinking behind the use of this qualifier, review findings of other studies that have used similar qualifiers, describe and discuss Hamby’s methods, and speculate on how the qualifier might affect measurement. We then offer several suggestions for additional research to improve measurement of IPV. These include addressing incremental validity, reducing measurement error, understanding how new or revised measures operate to improve prediction, and evaluating differential item and test functioning.
Part 1 evaluates Hamby’s (2016) Partner Victimization Scale (PVS) and concludes that it fails to identify cases of female PV and lacks validity. Part 2 evaluates Hamby’s results as if they were correct and shows women perpetrated 2/3 as much partner violence (PV) as men and that it is frequent and a serious problem needing immediate attention. Part 3 describes a mode of conceptualization and data analysis called Dyadic Concordance Types (DCTs), which measures PV at the couple level rather than the individual perpetrator level, by classifying couples as Male-Only, Female-Only, and Both assaulted. Reviews of more than 50 studies found about half of couples are in the Both assaulted category, about a quarter Male-Only, as well as Female-Only. This applies to treatment-involved cases, to data provided by women and men, moderate and severe forms of physical violence, and regardless of the instrument used to measure physical assault. DCTs provide a more realistic and comprehensive assessment of PV because they take into account both gendered and dyadic interaction aspects of PV and both victimization and perpetration. Identifying the DCTs of cases in research or interventions is a practical step to enhance research and increase the effectiveness of services by directing attention to analyzing and treating PV as a couple problem, while also identifying sole-perpetrators. It is likely to be especially helpful in reducing violence against women.