An expert who brought into public consciousness the little-known area of male domestic abuse, is extending her research to explore men’s experience of abuse continuing after a relationship ends.
Dr Liz Bates from the University of Cumbria is seeking men to contribute their real-life experiences of aggression and control perpetrated by female ex-partners.
Participants are asked to complete an anonymous online survey about their experiences during the relationship and how the abuse may have continued or changed after it ended.
“My previous research documented that men too can experience domestic abuse like women, which can result in significant and ongoing health problems”, said Dr Liz Bates Senior Lecturer in Applied Psychology at the University of Cumbria.
She continued: “It’s also known that there are many barriers to reporting their experiences including those on a personal, social and structural level.
“What is currently less understood are the ways the abuse can, and indeed often does, continue after the relationship has broken down for example through parental relationships and financial abuse” she said.
According to an initial sample, Liz found many similarities in the experiences of female and male domestic abuse victims but there were also significant differences specific to male victims.
The men in the sample described becoming distanced from their children or that being threatened while they were still in the relationship and that sometimes female partners manipulated systems by making false allegations as another way to exert control after the relationship ended.
According to national statistics, domestic abuse affected 695,000 men aged 16 to 59 years in the last year. However, it’s thought the figure is much higher as many men do not report or view their experiences as abuse in the first place.
News of this survey comes as the Government published its response to the domestic abuse consultation and draft Domestic Abuse Bill last month.
The landmark draft bill complements a package of practical action points designed to tackle domestic abuse, which is estimated to cost society £66 billion in economic and social costs for victims in 2016 to 2017 alone.
Nine measures were identified that require primary legislation to implement.
Dr Liz Bates’ previous research on the prevalence of male domestic abuse contributed to the bill which sought the views of victims, support organisations and frontline professionals.
This research received wide acclaim, making the ‘UK’s Best Breakthroughs’ list for having a significant impact on people’s everyday lives. The list, compiled by Universities UK, was part of the ‘MadeAtUni’ campaign which aimed to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.
She has also made numerous appearances on TV programmes such as ‘Inside Out’ and ‘Channel 4 News’ commenting on the subject.
She now hopes that this new research will provide a greater understanding of men’s experience of post-separation abuse and raise awareness of how it continues to impact men despite their relationships having ended.
Liz’s survey is made up of brief questions which should take respondents around 30-45 minutes to complete.
To find out more information or to take part, please click the following link: https://cumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/mens-post-separation-experiences
Liz has written a blog which gives further background information on her research.