Disclosure of victimization experiences of Chinese male survivors of intimate partner abuse

Simon CHAN*, Tsang W.H. Wallace

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Male victimization in intimate partner abuse situations has long been a neglected phenomenon in academic research and is rarely mentioned in social service provision. The abused male is often absent from the overall picture, such that intimate partner abuse against males remains an invisible occurrence. This is in part due to the reluctance of society to support them, because men are culturally perceived to be masculine and strong. The factors that facilitate or prevent their disclosure are worthy of study because in doing so, could provide a better understanding of how their help-seeking behavior contributes to service planning for both men and women in conflict. This study, therefore, focuses on the individual, organizational and cultural factors that facilitate or prevent the disclosure of intimate partner abuse when experienced by men in a Chinese context. Three general areas have been identified from a literature review: namely, the attribution of the victimization experiences, professional encounters, and cultural conception of masculinity. Eight male survivors have voluntarily participated and recruited through purposive snowball sampling. In-depth interviews are used to obtain the qualitative data. After conducting a thematic analysis, six themes are identified, which are: the perceived uniqueness of the victimization; perceived severity of the victimization; perceived sincerity of the helping professionals; professional actions; ‘macho competence’; and ‘macho protection.’ In conclusion, suggestions are made on how the study findings contribute to developing gender sensitive practices for helping professionals, especially social workers and counsellors, when they work with male survivors of intimate partner abuse.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)744-761
    Number of pages18
    JournalQualitative Social Work
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Chinese
    • disclosure
    • intimate partner abuse
    • male survivor
    • masculinity
    • Thematic analysis


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