Sunday, January 20, 2019: 11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Golden Gate 5, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Violence against Women and Children (VAWC)
Rita Seabrook, PhD, Rutgers University
Jeffrey Edleson, PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Research on gender-based violence has focused primarily on women, and for good reason: one-quarter of US women experience some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime (Walsh, Keyes, Koenen, & Hasin, 2015). However, in order to end gender-based violence researchers must study violence perpetration as well as victimization. In this symposium, we take up the complex issue of perpetration by examining young men's attitudes towards and risk factors for perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV). We examine IPV perpetration among two different “at risk” populations: male college students and men who report using opiates. Then, we examine men's experiences and perspectives on being asked about IPV in healthcare settings, and identify a significant and largely untapped opportunity for screening and treatment of both IPV perpetration and victimization. The first and third papers examine IPV perpetration among a nationally representative sample of young men (aged 18-35). In the first paper, the authors explore prescription opiate use as a risk factor for IPV perpetration. Even after controlling for other known risk factors for IPV perpetration, such as mental health problems and other drug use, prescription opiate misuse was associated with greater likelihood of perpetrating IPV. The authors conclude that social workers involved in combatting the current opiate epidemic should incorporate IPV perpetration and victimization screening and treatment in their work. In the second paper, the authors use longitudinal data to explore the relationship between attitudes towards sexual violence (instrumentalized as rape myth acceptance) and sexually violent behavior (instrumentalized as likelihood of committing sexual assault) among male undergraduate students. Although most research assumes that attitudes lead to behavior, the results of this study demonstrate a reciprocal causality. In other words, both rape myths beliefs and proclivity to perpetrate reinforce each other over time. The authors suggest that sexual violence prevention programs should address both rape myth acceptance and rape proclivity in order to reduce perpetration of sexual violence. In the third paper, the authors examine men's attitudes toward being asked about IPV perpetration and victimization, as well as their actual experience with being asked about IPV, in healthcare settings. Although the majority of men believed that healthcare providers should ask their male patients about IPV perpetration and victimization, only a minority of men had actually been asked about IPV perpetration or victimization. The authors suggest that this discrepancy represents a missed opportunity for IPV screening and treatment. At the end of the symposium, an expert on intervention with men who abuse their partners will serve as a discussant. There is little research to inform social work efforts to identify and engage men at risk of IPV perpetration. Taken together, the three papers in this symposium illuminate risk factors for male IPV perpetration and inform strategies and settings for social workers to prevent, identify, and initiate response to IPV perpetration. Preventing IPV perpetration, rehabilitating and holding perpetrators accountable are critical components of efforts to end gender based violence, and this symposium will highlight new research to inform social work practice in this arena.
* noted as presenting author
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