Men’s experience of domestic abuse in Scotland: an update

Bates, Elizabeth (2019) Men’s experience of domestic abuse in Scotland: an update. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In 2013, Brian Dempsey completed a literature review to identify and explore research that was relevant to understanding men’s experiences of domestic abuse in Scotland. His intention at the time was to provide a reference point for the development of both policy and future research; specifically, he hoped it would be a starting point to furthering how we work with men in Scotland who have experienced abuse, the friends, family and children of these men, and also the needs of the perpetrators of such abuse. Dempsey’s review covered the literature up to 2012 (with some reference to new literature in 2013). Five years on from the publication of this review there is indeed new literature we can draw on, which does give us a more developed understanding of men’s experiences. The aim of this current literature review is to consider the literature published, and policy changes that have occurred since 2013 with an aim to reflect on the recommendations made in the 2013 report. The updated Scottish Crime and Justice Survey presents data that show there are a significant number of men who experience domestic abuse within Scotland. The data also highlight the type of abuse they experience, the impact this has, and also that many men do not recognise their experience as abuse.

The academic literature since 2013 further highlights men’s experience of domestic abuse; types of abuse reported; impact of abuse; help-seeking; and the perceptions of victims and service responses. More recent literature exploring men’s experiences further highlights the range of physical, psychological, sexual, and financial abuse that they experience. The more recent literature has also contributed some new understanding, for example around legal and administrative aggression, and some aspects of controlling behaviour such as ‘Gaslighting’. Whilst the SCJS data suggest some men are reporting their experience to service and criminal justice agencies, the literature also describes a number of barriers that prevent other men from doing so. This includes fear of legal and administrative aggression from their partners (e.g., through false allegations, parental alienation), fear of not being believed, and barriers relating to socially constructed masculine gender roles.

The current review concludes with some recommendations, namely, there is a need for:
1. men’s voices to be more a part of the policy and practice narrative within Scotland
2. more research that works with different groups of men (e.g., older men, BME men) to understand experiences of this heterogeneous group
3. more research to form a more detailed understanding of the barriers that men experience to be able to tackle them more effectively
4. work to challenge the “public story” around domestic abuse.

Item Type: Report
Departments: Applied Psychology and Social Studies
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2019 14:18
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2019 14:35
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4610

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