Men Abused by Female Partners – The Psychological Implications
By Liz Lockhart
There was a time when men who were abused by their female partners just ‘suffered in silence’. Exposing what was happening to them was as difficult and traumatic as the suffering from abuse itself. The reaction from their colleagues, peers and friends could perhaps have been one of disbelief after all men are physically stronger than women!
Fortunately that seems to be changing and more and more men are reporting this type of abuse and seeking the help they need.
According to two studies published in the April issue of Psychology of Men & Masculinity ‘Men who experience abuse at the hands of their female partners may suffer significant psychological distress, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts’.
Anna A. Randle, Psy.D., from the Children’s Service of the Oxfordshire County Council in Oxford, U.K., and Cynthia A. Graham, Ph.D., from Brunel University in Uxbridge, reviewed evidence on the effect intimate partner violence (IPV) has on men. They found that men who experience IPV may experience adverse psychological consequences and note that depression, PTSD and suicide have been documented.
These findings do not seem very surprising. The psychological implications of abuse and physical violence from on to another are expected and yet when this abuse comes from a female to a male the implications are even greater. Men feel robbed of their masculinity on many fronts when faced with this situation and in some ways feel too ‘ashamed’ to come forward and tend to suffer for longer periods of time before seeking help than women in the same situation.
Uncovered Magazine is glad that reports of this type are coming to print as with the recent research we reported in ‘Men Have Post Natal Depression Too’. We are starting to take the mental health of men more seriously and, perhaps more importantly, men feel more able to come forward to report cases of abuse and to talk more openly about their mental health issues in general.
Statistically men are more likely to become alcohol and/or drug dependent and more likely to attempt suicide – could there be a link between the ‘stigma’ that they feel is attached to mental health problems that perpetuates them to keep things ‘bottled up inside’. Hopefully the time has come when men feel free to come forward with their problems and get the help and advice they need to overcome abuse and the resultant mental health problems.
For our depression guide please see here: