Association of Male-Victimization with Mental Illness

Various studies have provided evidence of the association of male victimization by their intimate partners with mental illness. For instance, Hines and Douglas (2011) documented the association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and intimate partner violence (IPV) in male victims. They used two groups of men, one group consisting of helpseeking males while the other consisted of a community-based sample. The helpseeking males were recruited from agencies such as the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women whereas the community sample was comprised of members randomly drawn from the community. The study found out that men in both groups who experienced several types of IPV were at a significant risk of developing PSTD.   

Randle and Graham (2011) also examined the frequency of PSTD, depression, and suicidal ideation in the victimized male population by using a mixed methods analysis of qualitative and quantitative studies. Their studies revealed that victims/survivors of IPV suffered from PTSD, depression and suicidal ideation. The authors also assessed such outcomes in same-sex relationships. Their findings indicated that same-sex couples had a rate of IPV comparable to their heterosexual counterparts. However, the information concerning IPV male victims in homo sexual relationships was even more limited than that concerning male victimization in heterosexual relationships. Due to such limited information, the findings from the study were not generalizable to homosexual partners outside the study’s setting. Even with such a limitation, the study, found that most of the male IPV victims, irrespective of whether the violence was perpetrated by female or male partners, experienced negative psychological outcomes such as developing PSTD.

The studies discussed above establish the link between male victimization and adverse psychological outcomes. Such victimization is associated with severe mental illness such as PSTD and depression. The association of victimization with mental illness necessitates encouragement of victimized men to attend treatment programs. However, due to societal stereotypes that ridicule males who expose their victimization by female partners, establishing programs that would help the male victim is challenging.

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