Last week I was contacted by researchers in the UK who are taking part in a multinational study of heterosexual men who are or have been involved in abusive relationships with a female wife or partner. As regular readers of A Voice for Men know, even though men are half the victims of domestic violence and women are half the perpetrators, both research on and services for male victims are underserved and often ignored or even mocked. If you’re a man who’s willing to step up and share your experiences confidentially with these researchers, you will be helping the Men’s Human Rights Movement and your fellow men in a very direct and tangible way.
The researchers inform me that their US-based contingent is full up and needs no further subjects, however, the Australian, British, and Canadian teams are still looking for subjects So I sincerely hope that if you’re in one of those countries, you respond to this notice.
Note that once the researchers have gotten sufficient volunteers they will let me know that they’ve got all the subjects they can handle, and I will post an update here letting people know that the call for volunteers is closed. But until that happens, please read the below notice and act on its directions if you qualify. Thank you!
What follows below is the verbatim notice the researchers sent to me. –DE
Men are needed to take part in a study that aims to listen to men’s voices about their experiences of abuse from a female intimate partner.
We are looking for volunteers to participate in a 90-minute online discussion group. We are trying to learn more about men’s experiences of victimisation from a female intimate partner in different Western countries (UK,
USA, Canada and Australia). This is an under-researched area and we hope that by allowing men’s voices to be heard we can contribute to the understanding and development of prevention, services and funding for this issue in addition to raising international awareness. We do recognise that homosexual partner abuse is an important study also, but as resources are limited we have to study one thing at a time on this occasion.
We are currently looking for men to take part in the UK, Australian and Canadian study (the US part of the study has been completed for now). We want to speak to men who live in these countries who have experienced some form of abuse in a current or past intimate relationship and who are willing to discuss their experiences with a researcher and other men in similar situations. This abuse does not have to be physical. We recognise that people can experience other forms of abuse such as psychological, emotional, sexual or controlling behaviours and we are interested in all of these forms.
The discussion group will be held virtually; that is, we will use an online facility to speak to each other. This will allow men who live in different parts of the country of interest to get together and talk to each other. We will interview men together with other men from the same country. Groups will be small, of approximately 5 men and two researchers. This facility will have to be private – for example a home PC or iPad, or mobile phone in a private location – this is to make sure we uphold the confidentiality for you and other participants in the group. Therefore, you could not carry out the group in an internet café, for example.
Requirements for participation are that you are over 18, are proficient in the English language, experienced some form of abuse from a female intimate partner whilst living in the country of interest at some point, and you are willing to share your story with a small group of men in similar situations. You will need access to an email account, the internet and a webcam.
Participation is voluntary. You may decline to answer any question you do not wish to answer. If you wish to drop out of the study at any time, you are free to do so. Your answers will be kept fully confidential. This research is being conducted by Dr. Louise Dixon from the University of Birmingham, UK; Dr. Denise Hines from Clark University, USA; Dr. Emily Douglas from Bridgewater State University, USA; Dr. Alexandra Lysova from the University of Toronto, Canada, and Dr. Elizabeth Celi in private practice in Melbourne, Australia.
You do not have to tell us your name at any point in this study. If you are interested in reading more about this study you need to email the researcher (details below) who will email you back with detailed information. If your email address identifies your name clearly you are free to create and use a non-identifiable account – you can do this easily online using Gmail or Yahoo, for example. When the researcher emails you back she will provide you with a made up name (Bobby, for example) that you can use in communication throughout the entire study. However, we will be able to see your face in the discussion group – we believe it will be easier to talk to each other online about sensitive issues if we can see each other, it is sometimes difficult to gauge what people really mean or feel without seeing faces.
Please note – if you are currently in an abusive relationship you should think very carefully about whether your participation in this project can be carried out safely. For example, will your partner be able to read your emails to us and from us? Will your partner be aware of you participating in the online discussion group?
Remember, unless a website has been set up in a specific way people can trace your history on the computer – that is they can see what sites you have been logged onto. They will be able to trace that you have accessed the weblink to our online group unless you know how to effectively delete this history. Think – would taking part threaten your safety in any way? Please do not take any further part in this study if it does.
If you are interested in participating or have questions about the study, please email Louise Dixon at [email protected] and she will make sure you are sent more detailed information about the study so that you can consider further if you would like to take part.