Four case studies examining male victims of intimate partner abuse

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma




Taylor and Francis


School of Arts and Humanities


Sita, T., & Dear, G. (2021). Four case studies examining male victims of intimate partner abuse. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. 30(1), 3-24. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2019.1709593


© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis. The limited research into male victims’ experiences of intimate partner abuse (IPA) does not clarify whether men’s experiences align with those of women who sustain intimate partner abuse. We conducted four case studies to explore how those men’s experiences align with patterns of male-to-female abuse, specifically abuse with a focus on gaining and maintaining control. Four men who identified as victims of IPA from female partners participated in semi-structured interviews, with collateral information obtained from friends and family members. These cases were selected because on first presentation they appeared to fit the definition of intimate terrorism. The men’s experiences were assessed in three domains that indicate a pattern of abuse used to control: power and control, psychological impact, and victim response. The data indicate that participants’ experiences are comparable to those of female victims, except for the fear response. While fearful of the perpetrator, these four men did not display the immobilizing fear and entrapment that many female victims display. Control as a motivation and effect of abuse is a useful starting point for describing and conceptualizing some male victims, until further research allows more precise conceptualizations.