n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - A conceptual framework of the South African male victim of domestic violence within a heterosexual marriage or cohabitating relationship

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This article conceptualises the heterosexual male victim of domestic violence in an attempt to understand his victimisation in the form of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. This is achieved by looking at concepts within domestic violence which fall under the generic term of male battering and/or husband abuse. It is argued that this form of domestic violence is insignificant when compared to woman abuse or wife battering and does therefore not deserve 'conceptual recognition' within the domestic violence context. This article provides evidence for the necessity of conceptual recognition. This discussion is based upon the findings of a doctoral study on the emotional and physical abuse of the male victim of domestic violence within a heterosexual marriage or cohabitating relationship. One of the outcomes and findings of the study was to put into context the concept of a male victim of domestic violence. The dilemma of what constitutes 'normal' and 'abnormal' violence in a relationship and when does abuse transcend socially acceptable behaviour, constitutes a problem. This dilemma of acceptable behaviour is exacerbated by society's view of the male as the stronger sex. It is difficult for society to see the male in the context of a victim, especially if the female is the perpetrator. This article aims to contextualise and redefine the male victim of domestic violence to make the study comprehensive, taking into account finer nuances. No generalisations about the male victims of domestic violence can be made as a result of this study as only four men were interviewed.

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