Male victims of domestic abuse and PTSD

Men who are victims of domestic abuse by their female partners can develop psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and suicidal thoughts, new research finds.

Researchers looked at a group of 302 men who sought professional help after experiencing what the researchers called "intimate terrorism," which refers to high levels of violence and controlling behaviour by female partners.

The study

Another 520 men took part in a telephone survey that asked about their relationships. 16% of these men said they had experienced minor acts of violence and mental abuse during arguments with their female partners. This type of abuse was referred to as "common couple violence."

In both groups of men, who ranged in age from 18 to 59, there were associations between abuse and PTSD symptoms. However, the men who experienced "intimate terrorism" had a much greater risk of developing PTSD.

The findings

The findings appear in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity.

"This is the first study to show that PTSD is a major concern among men who sustain partner violence and seek help," study leader Denise Hines, a research assistant professor in the department of psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., said in a journal news release.

A second study in the same journal summarised past research on domestic abuse against men. Prior research has found that men are less likely to report injuries from abuse, and police are less likely to arrest women accused of domestic violence against men. (HealthDay News/ April 2011)

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Mental health

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