Skip to content

Help-seeking by male victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA): a systematic review and qualitative evidence synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-55
Number of pages56
JournalBMJ Open
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Feb 2019


Objectives To understand help-seeking by male victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and their experiences of support services by systematically identifying qualitative and mixed-method studies and thematically synthesising their findings.
Design Systematic review and qualitative evidence synthesis. Searches were conducted in 12 databases and the grey literature with no language or date restrictions. Quality appraisal of the studies was carried out using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool. Reviewers extracted first and second order constructs related to help-seeking, identified themes and combined them by interpretative thematic synthesis.
Setting DVA experienced by male victims and defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people aged 18 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Participants Male victims of domestic violence and abuse. Interventions Any intervention which provides practical and/or psychological support to male
victims of DVA including but not limited to DVA-specific services, primary health care and sexual health clinics.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Qualitative data describing help-seeking experiences and interactions with support services of male victims of domestic violence
We included twelve studies which were published between 2006 and 2017. We grouped nine themes described over two phases a) barriers to help-seeking: fear of disclosure, challenge to masculinity, commitment to relationship, diminished confidence/despondency and invisibility/perception of services; and b) experiences of interventions and support: initial contact, confidentiality, appropriate professional approaches and inappropriate professional approaches.
The recent publication of the primary studies suggests a new interest in the needs of male DVA victims. We have confirmed previously identified barriers to help-seeking by male victims of DVA and provide new insight into barriers and facilitators to service provision.

    Research areas

  • systematic review, qualitative evidence synthesis, help-seeking, domestic violence and abuse, thematic synthesis, male/men



  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Accepted author manuscript, 1 MB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 1/01/99

    Request copy

View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups