Key Research Interests and Expertise
Hard to Tell: Narrative Identity and Male Victims of Intimate Partner Violence - A PhD research study
The awareness of violence against women has put domestic abuse firmly on the agenda of social policy and legislation; less so the experiences of male victims. Stereotypes of men as strong and invulnerable, and the widespread understanding of domestic abuse by men against women, means male victims can feel their experiences are not accepted. This can stop them from talking about their abuse. Unrecognised abuse can continue for longer, increasing the risk of harm and fatal injury. Children who see and hear abuse between their parents are at greater risk of harm and of entering abusive relationships when they grow up, perpetuating cycles of abuse and violence.
Narrative Identity Theory research shows that how people talk about their experiences is important for recovery. Some ways of telling stories are linked to positive wellbeing, and others to poorer mental health outcomes. For men who suffer violence and abuse from their female partner, there is little opportunity to talk of their experiences. When they do speak about it, they are often not taken seriously limiting their opportunities to explore and make sense of their own stories.This research uses in-depth auto-biographical narrative interviews to enable male victims and survivors to tell their story. Understanding how male survivors speak about their experiences, and what it means for their identity and mental health, is crucial to being able to support them and their families, potentially helping men to understand their experiences, leave abusive relationships earlier, work to protect their children, and help them to rebuild their lives.
Listening to men’s stories in this way can help inform a deeper understanding of Intimate Partner Abuse of all genders, enriching public discussion, better informing the work of those who provide support, and making it easier for others to make sense of their own experiences
Bachelor of Arts, Durham University
Master of Research, School of Psychology, University of East Anglia
Master of Arts, University of East Anglia