Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects people of all sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions.
We know that more than one in three men who have sex with men will experience intimate partner violence in their lives, and that trans men are at greater risk than their cis counterparts.
However, we also know it’s something lots of men struggle to talk about, whether they’re looking for support and advice, or wanting to report incidents to the police.
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing IPV:
If you want to talk, you can fill out our confidential self-referral form, and one of the team will get in touch with you.
In the sections below, we take a closer look at what Intimate Partner Violence is, how to spot it, and some of the causes and impacts of it.
We want to encourage more discussion about IPV, to bring it into the open, and to support more men to feel able to access information, advice and support.
Intimate partner violence, or IPV, refers to a pattern of behaviours by a person in order to exert power and control over their partner, or ex-partner. IPV can:
The term Intimate Partner Violence is often used interchangeably with the more common term domestic violence. On this page, we use the term IPV as it refers specifically to acts of violence that occur between current or former partners.
While the definition of domestic violence does include Intimate Partner Violence, it can also refer to intergenerational violence within a family or household (e.g. involving children, parents or others in a family unit).
Intimate Partner Violence is not always easy to spot as it is happening, and many people who have experienced it report that the signs were only obvious in hindsight.
One reason abuse can be difficult to spot is that it will often begin with subtle acts that could be dismissed as ‘minor’, before escalating in severity over time.
For example, people who have experienced physical and sexual abuse will often report earlier examples of verbal and emotional abuse that were not acted on.
Below we’ve given some examples of different signs of IPV to watch out for.
Emotional and Mental Abuse: Does your partner ever:
Physical Abuse: Does your partner ever:
Sexual abuse: Does your partner ever:
Financial Abuse: Does your partner ever:
As mentioned above, trans men are more likely to be victims of IPV, compared to their cis counterparts.
In addition to the warning signs mentioned above, some more specific signs that your partner is abusive can include:
Intimate Partner Violence is associated with wide-ranging short and long-term health and wellbeing impacts. Men who have experienced IPV will often report experiencing:
Poorer mental health:
Poorer sexual health
Poorer physical health
At SX, we want to you to know that we’re here, and that we’ll work with you to ensure that you feel able to access the correct support.
As with so many of the health and social inequalities faced by gay, bi and all men who have sex with men, many underlying factors of IPV within our relationships link back to societal issues around LGBTQ+ identities.
Research has found some common relationship factors underpinning IPV in same sex relationships:
If you are experiencing IPV, or suspect that someone you know is, we can help you talk things through at your own pace and on your own terms.
We won’t force you to discuss anything that you’re not comfortable with, and we’ll never take any action against your partner unless you want us to (or unless you are in serious immediate danger).
If you want to talk, fill out our confidential self-referral form, and one of the team will get in touch with you.
Alongside support from SX, you may find the following information useful:
Many men who have been victims of IPV find it difficult to report abuse to the police. This is often because of fear of judgement and prejudice, and concern that they will not be believed.
However, Police Scotland are sensitive to the needs of LGBTQI+ people experiencing IPV and have specially trained LGBT Liaison Officers all over Scotland who can help.
If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, it is completely understandable if you don’t know where to turn.
SARCS is a dedicated NHS service that can offer healthcare and support in the days after an assault, particularly if you’re not ready, or unsure whether to go to the police.
The service is accessed through a dedicated phone line, where specially trained staff can talk you through your options. This can include support to:
Key things to know about the service are:
If you want to self-refer to SARCS, you can call the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 148 88 88. If you have reported a rape or sexual assault to the Police, they can also refer you to SARCS for support.
The following services offer helpful information and advice for men affected by IPV: