The Lived Experience of Gay Men Enduring Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)
Gill, Kiran Prianka
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Domestic violence is an issue that plagues all relationships regardless of sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or nationality. Despite this issue's widespread nature, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in gay male relationships is under-recognized by judicial systems, policies, and social services. Statistical reports completed in Canada describe IPV within LGBTQ+ populations as disproportionality high, yet supportive services, judicial systems, and societal views do not reflect this number. Lack of inclusion of these issues has led to stigmatization and misinformed definitions of violence within gay relationships that endure domestic violence. This phenomenological research study explored the following question: What are gay men's experiences who suffer from IPV? Focusing on five gay men within Canada, this study describes the lived experience of gay men who have endured domestic violence while expanding on themes related to the violence and barriers they experience when seeking supportive services and discussing their IPV experiences. The themes will serve to expand the scope of the issue and gain a holistic understanding of their experiences. Six themes were identified and described: (a) challenges and social barriers in seeking support; (b) heteronormative approach to IPV; (c) feeling responsible for the abuse; (d) fear of being alone, (e) fear of the abuser; and (f) experiencing multiple forms of IPV.