Processess of change: Interviews with men who have perpetrated intimate partner

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Zederayko, Alexis
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Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a complex problem affecting relationships in Canada. Current methods of addressing this problem are insufficient to ensure the safety of victims, and past therapeutic techniques have resulted in marginalization and stigma counterproductive to supporting non-violence. Low levels of accessibility and social support are problems facing male-as-primary-client intervention programs. This study solicited experiences from men who have perpetrated IPV and who have chosen to become non-violent. Participants were recruited from two men’s programs in Nova Scotia, and interviewed for their experiences of stopping the perpetration of violence and creating respectful relationships with their partners and families. In these interviews, men described supports and hindrances to change. They provided narratives of their experiences that included processes of helpseeking, disclosure, navigating stigma and shame, and taking responsibility for their actions. They discussed the creation of their new identities as men who choose not to abuse, and they recounted their experiences with friends, family, and intervention programs.The discussion of these experiences examines links between elements of the men’s experiences and existing literature, such as the impact that low intervention accessibility may have on the trajectory of violence. It also explores the benefits that these men derived from achieving clarity concerning their preferences, values, and definitions of abuse. Methodological and interpretive tensions in the research are discussed, and feedback for intervention programs is offered. Possible limitations to this research are reviewed, and gaps in knowledge are presented for further study. This research broadens academic and social understanding of how men who perpetrate IPV can best be helped, and may change how these interventions are conducted, increasing their effectiveness, accessibility, and impact.
Intimate partner violence , Domestic violence