Reaching out and seeking help from frontline professionals: experiences of men perpetrating partner violence

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  • 1 Psytel, France
  • | 2 Conexus, Spain
  • | 3 Association Terres à Vivre, France
  • | 4 Centro Ascolto Uomini Maltrattanti (CAM), Florence, Italy
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Background:

Research on help-seeking behaviour in partner violence has mainly focused on victims. This article reports on a multi-country qualitative study exploring the views and experiences of men perpetrating partner violence and their contact with frontline professionals. The study was part of a wider programme of training for professionals to enable disclosure of domestic violence by perpetrators (project ENGAGE).

Methods:

Eleven semi‐structured interviews and one focus group discussion with seven men were conducted and thematic analysis was used to analyse their responses. Emphasis was on understanding how professionals’ responses prevented or facilitated disclosure and seeking support and/or professional help.

Results:

The men revealed the difficulties they face in the process of disclosure and that help-seeking from non-specialised professionals had a negative emotional impact for most men. Four themes emerged: barriers to help-seeking for men; helpful responses from professionals; unhelpful responses to avoid; and recommendations for professionals to improve their interactions with men.

Conclusion:

This study has implications for the training of frontline professionals and underlines the need for changes in services to ensure that all men consistently receive an appropriate response and are directed to perpetrator programmes or specialised services.

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  • 1 Psytel, France
  • | 2 Conexus, Spain
  • | 3 Association Terres à Vivre, France
  • | 4 Centro Ascolto Uomini Maltrattanti (CAM), Florence, Italy

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