Is it coercive controlling violence? A cross-sectional domestic violence and abuse survey of men attending general practice in England

Marianne Hester*, Cassandra Jones, Emma Williamson, Eldin Fahmy, Gene Feder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Surveys that examine prevalence of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) without consideration of impact, severity or context have limitations. The article uses results from the first survey of a European clinical male population, the largest such study internationally, that measured a range of emotional, physical and sexual behaviors that could be construed as DVA, including experience and perpetration, and a range of impacts. The article asks to what extent the behavior reported by the men can be characterized as coercive controlling violence. Method: A survey was administered to male patients in 16 general practices (family medicine clinics) in England. Of 1,368 respondents who completed 4 screening questions regarding behavior consistent with DVA, 707 (52%) completed detailed questions on lifetime experience of possibly harmful emotional, physical and sexual behaviors, perpetration, and impacts, and if they had ever been in a domestically violent or abusive relationship. One-way analysis of variance was used to establish optimal thresholds across abuse and impact scales in order to ascertain severity of men's reported experiences. Results: More than half (52.5%; 95% confidence interval: 48.7% to 55.9%) the men reported experiencing potentially harmful physical, emotional or sexual behavior from a partner, however only 4.4% of the men experienced coercive controlling violence and of those nearly half also reported perpetration against their partner. Conclusions: Although a large minority of men presenting to general practice experience or perpetrate DVA behavior in relationships, only a small minority experience coercive controlling violence and only 1 in 40 have experienced such violence as victims only.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-427
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Violence
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

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