Intimate Male Partner Abuse and Violence


”Abuse That Dare Not Speak Its Name”

This 12-minute book tells the invisible story of the male journey through an abusive relationship with an intimate male partner, from the early days of happiness to the depths of despair and hopeful resilience.

The e-book is based on research of multiple Scottish men’s experiences and is not the story of one person. This book contains sensitive depictions of intimate partner violence.

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abusive actions by a current or ex- intimate partner that causes harm to a person’s wellbeing. 1 in 3 gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) men experience IPV in their lifetime.

Abuse can include:
  • Physical:  Threatens and/or is violent or uses control that will cause harm to health: hitting, pushing or limits access to healthcare.

The bruises reflected the hatred they directed at me, coupled with hurtful homophobic slurs that seemed to amplify the blows.

  • Emotional: Makes the person feel bad about themselves: gaslights, humiliates, puts down or belittles.

They gaslight me as a strategy to make me question my own sanity. Worst of all, they threatened to expose my sexuality to my parents.

  • Social: Controlling a person’s social life:  who they see, talk to, where they go or tracking where and when they go somewhere.

They constantly undermined my appearance, pressuring me alter the way I dressed and looked whenever we were out.

  • Sexual: Non-consented sexual acts or manipulating a person to do intimate acts they are not comfortable with.

At the time I didn’t’ really think anything of my feeling being guilt tripped into having rough unprotected sex, it was his right!

  • Financial: Fully controls a person’s money, limits access to funds, or steals money/belongings.

Before I knew what was happening, they refused to give me enough money to attend an LGBTQ sports group I loved.

  • Digital: Use technology to control or harm a person: stalking online activities, threating or sharing private information online, or making threats via social media.

The constant threat to spread lies and details about my gender and sex life online, was an overwhelming fear.

The impact of IPV on wellbeing in the short and long term can include:
  • Physical:
  • Muscle and bone injuries, including ongoing pain.
  • Sexually transmitted infections and intimate area injuries.
  • Worsening of existing conditions due to limited healthcare.
  • Illness like heart disease and autoimmune disorders


  • Psychological:
  • Fear, stress, and a sense of helplessness.
  • Low self-esteem and confidence.
  • Mental ill health like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.


  • Social:
  • Isolation from friends/family, leading to loneliness.
  • Financial dependence on the abusive partner.
  • Left to deal with considerable debts.
  • Confidence to form future intimate relationships.


Barriers for Accessing Support

GBQ men who experienced IPV commonly felt their experiences were invisible, which was due to heterosexual norms (assumptions of gender intimacy between men and women) and interlinked stigma. This can mean that:

  • GBQ men do not recognise they are experiencing IPV.
  • GBQ men fear being judged or dismissed if they access help.
  • Services do not recognise GBQ men as ‘victims’.
  • Services dismiss GBQ men’s IPV experiences.


Accessing Safe Support

If you are experiencing IPV it is important to know that you are not alone. Confidential inclusive safe support can be found at:

  • Fear Free offer support for people experiencing domestic abuse in Scotland who identify as a man or from the LGBT+ community:
  • Galop provide a helpline and online support for anyone in the UK who is LGBT+ and is or who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence:
  • LGBT+ Helpline Scotland provide emotional support and information to the LGBT+ community across Scotland; 0800 464 7000 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 12-9pm and Sundays 1-6pm)
  • Respect Men’s Advice Line offer online support (helpline, webchat, and email) to men experiencing domestic abuse:
  • Rape Crisis Scotland provides a crisis helpline, email support and local centre support for anyone affected by sexual violence: 08088 01 03 02 (6pm to midnight, 7 days a week).
  • At Waverley Care we offer mental health and sexual wellbeing support to gay and bisexual men. For more information on our services, click here.


To access the research report and PDF version of the e-book, please download via the buttons below.