“Promoting awareness of the plight of male survivors may encourage men to report abuse and feel assured that they will be taken seriously”
Dr Jessica McCarrick is using her research to shine the spotlight on the sensitive subject of male victims of domestic violence.CADEMIC
The Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at Teesside University thinks more should be done to support male victims.
She says that many don’t report the violence they suffer for fear of themselves being the subject of false accusations.
Dr McCarrick delivered a presentation as part of Teesside University’s A Spoonful of Knowledge sessions, a series of events which encourages people to discuss and debate topical issues.
Her research focusses on in-depth interviews with male victims of domestic violence and explores why men are more than twice as likely as women not to report the abuse they suffer. It found that when men do report the abuse, their negative experiences are perpetuated within the criminal justice system by being treated like the guilty party or feeling dismissed by the police.
Read more about Dr McCarrick’s research into male victims of domestic abuse here
Since A Spoonful of Knowledge, Dr McCarrick has been invited to deliver a talk to social workers at Middlesbrough Council to help them understand more about the issues men face. She was also asked to present her work at the British Psychology Society Conference in Brighton. In addition, Dr McCarrick’s research was used for a Key Stage 3 educational resource by Independence Educational Publishers.
She said: “The barriers that male victims of domestic violence face is an important and sensitive subject. I’m pleased to be able to talk about my research at these events and help to address some of the issues.
“Men find it incredibly difficult to talk about their experiences of domestic violence because of the shame and emasculation they feel is associated with it. To find the courage to speak out, only to be accused of violence themselves, is incredibly disheartening and ultimately prevents countless men from reporting intimate partner violence.
“Promoting awareness of the plight of male survivors may encourage men to report abuse and feel assured that they will be taken seriously.”
A host of further A Spoonful of Knowledge events are taking place over the coming months, covering a broad range of subjects, from global warming and counterfeit fashion, to football fandom and the management of chronic pain.
The events are open to everybody and take place on the last Tuesday of every month, from 6pm to 8pm, at the Dickens Inn on Southfield Road, Middlesbrough.