Background Domestic violence in men who have sex with men (MSM) is common and associated with adverse health consequences. This study aims to (i) explore the nature and impact of domestic abuse in gay and bisexual men attending a UK sexual health clinic and (ii) explore men’s views on routine enquiry for domestic abuse by health practitioners.
Methods A self-completion survey was implemented in the waiting rooms of sexual health clinics at a UK hospital. Men aged 18 and over, attending alone, who could read and write English were invited to participate in a male patient survey on relationships and health. The 2-part survey examined potentially abusive behaviours and health outcome including: anxiety and depression; alcohol and drug abuse; use of services; and views on routine enquiry within a health context.
Results 1,135 men completed a survey, of which 523 (46.0%) identified themselves as either gay or bisexual, 501 (95.8%) answered all questions relating to domestic violence in Part 1 of the survey. 145 (28.9%) men reported experiencing at least one abusive behaviour from a current or former partner; 81 (16.2%) men reported carrying out at least one abusive behaviour towards a current or former partner; 55 (11.0%) men reported both experiencing and perpetrating at least one abusive behaviour towards a partner. The majority of men supported the idea of health practitioners asking about domestic abuse during consultations.
Conclusion This study provides a greater understanding of domestic abuse in gay and bisexual men by including questions on impact as well as severity. The survey also examines the impact of these behaviours on men’s health and the role of sexual health practitioners in responding to gay and bisexual men affected by domestic abuse.
- domestic violence
- gay bisexual men