Barriers to and Facilitators of Help-Seeking Behavior Among Israeli Men Who Experience Intimate Partner Violence: A Qualitative Study

Keren Gueta, Tamar Shlichove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research has shown that male victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) are less likely than women to seek formal and informal help. Studies have identified internal barriers (e.g., shame) and external and structural barriers (e.g., limited availability of services), rooted in hegemonic masculinity norms, that explain this underutilization of help. There is also evidence of recent changes in the cultural understanding of masculinity, but these new insights have yet to be incorporated in theories of male IPV and related help-seeking. The purpose of the present study was to obtain a deeper understanding of the help-seeking decisions, barriers, and facilitators of formal and informal help-seeking among male IPV victims. In-depth interviews were conducted with a community sample of 17 Israeli men who self-identified as having been subjected to IPV. Thematic analysis revealed that help-seeking decisions were shaped by a lack of awareness of the need for help, expected outcomes of help-seeking, and actual help-seeking attempts, which together created both barriers and facilitators. Three barriers were identified; they were related to masculinity ideals, failure to recognize victimization, and family values. In addition, three facilitators of help-seeking were identified; they were related to recognizing victimization, access to online social networks, and the fatherhood role. The findings indicate that the barriers and facilitators were interrelated, reflecting the interlocking changing social constructs of masculinity, victimization, and family values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Gender
  • Help-seeking
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Masculinity
  • Thematic analysis

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