By | October 23, 2014 4 Comments

Research reveals men in domestic violence suffer similar effects as women

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, says research published in  Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

Men who are abused by their female partners can suffer significant psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to two papers published by the American Psychological Association.

British researcher Anna Randle, PsyD, lead author of a paper summarizing two decades of research says that a lack of reliable data has led to some confusion in literature on domestic violence effects on men.  More rigorous research focusing specifically on male victims is suggested.

Male victims of ‘intimate terrorism’ can experience damaging psychological effects, from Science Daily.

Posted in: Scientific research

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Thank you for posting this. It is important for everyone to realize that anyone can be targeted, and anyone can be affected.


I’m glad to see this post because men can be victimized too, and many times men feel like books, articles, and web resources are geared toward women being victimized by men. I know of at least one man married to a probable sociopath, from the sound of things. Although the abuse seems to have been only psychological, many victims of physical abuse say the emotional abuse was worse than the physical side (unless serious irrevocable injury or death occurs). Understanding that negates the often used rationale that bigger, stronger men do not have to worry about being abused by women. They have other weapons than their physical strength. The man I know suffered from PTSD and depression as a result.

I hope, Donna, that in your research into women sociopaths, you will also look into men victims.

I also like the term in this British article, “intimate terror”. I think what happens to us at the hands of sociopaths in intimate relationships is a form of private terrorism. The implication of constant fear of what will come next is very apt. And very relevant when thinking about why and when PTSD may develop.


I think we all agree that both men and women can be abuser or abused/ psychopath or target. Let’s just not forget that gender differences do exist and that sexual assault especially is almost exclusively against women. Note I said almost to include victims of child molesters. I noticed the missing child posters at rest stop on I 75 today. All missing were young women. There is a gender bias in assault and abuse. I would not want anyone to forget or minimize that reality. But I do support ending the assumption that psychopathy is a male only disorder and that all victims are women. So please just do not over do the women psychopath issue in guise of being “politically correct”.


Thank you Tracy! Male victims generally get the minimization treatment. I’ve heard Police officers challenge a man reporting DV with statements like… “How bad could it be? She’s a tiny little thing.” and “So, you’re saying she’s the man in this house?” It’s hard for most people to accept that the same mechanisms that keep a woman in a DV or sociopathic relationship apply to men as well.

I have done officer training for DV. I start out by explaining that statistically more women report DV than men and that there are more services available for women. I then talk about men as victims also asking that officers conduct investigations rather than making rash assumptions. Sadly, I’ve been challenged in these training sessions by officers who refuse to believe that men can be victims. I have lots of real life examples for them to counter their skepticism. While I’m not winning the war… I have won a few skirmishes. It’s a start at least.

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