Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 63–72 | Cite as

Characteristics of Callers to the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men

  • Denise A. HinesEmail author
  • Jan Brown
  • Edward Dunning
Original Paper


Intimate partner violence (IPV) by women against men has been the subject of much debate. Feminists typically argue that IPV is committed only by men against women. Others argue that violence is a human problem and women also commit much IPV. To resolve these debates, IPV has been classified into two categories: common couple violence captured by population-based studies, and patriarchal terrorism, captured by studies of battered women. This typology ignores male victims of extreme IPV. The current study addresses this omission by describing 190 male callers to the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men. All callers experienced physical abuse from their female partners, and a substantial minority feared their wives’ violence and were stalked. Over 90% experienced controlling behaviors, and several men reported frustrating experiences with the domestic violence system. Callers’ reports indicated that their female abusers had a history of trauma, alcohol/drug problems, mental illness, and homicidal and suicidal ideations.


Abused men Intimate partner violence Domestic violence Female violence 



The authors wish to thank the Family Research Laboratory and Crimes Against Children Research Center's seminar group for their helpful comments on a previous version of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Massachusetts-LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and WomenHarmonyUSA
  3. 3.Family Interventions ProjectGrers ValleyUSA

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