Academics & Research

Study examines domestic violence

UH doctoral candidate Venus Tsui, under the supervision of Monit Cheung, the doctoral dissertation chair at the Graduate School of Social Work, is conducting a survey of male victims of domestic violence in order to better understand the issue.

“It is definitely a challenging and tough topic,” Tsui said. “Although underreported and less common, male victims of domestic violence suffer negative physical and psychological consequences which are similar to their female counterparts.”

Tsui said the underreporting of domestic violence toward men is due to two main inhibitors: society and men themselves.

“Related literature and extant studies reveal that men are often discriminated against by domestic violence service providers and law enforcement systems in the help-seeking process,” Tsui said.

This and other forms of exclusion breed a stigma in men that causes them embarrassment and is often the ultimate provocation to keep the abuse to themselves, Tsui said.

“They face the challenge of masculine identity when reporting the abuse,” she said. “Socialization affects how men behave, and seeking help is often thought (of) as a sign of weakness.”

Cheung’s interest in the subject dates back to 2006 when she was a radio talk host for the Houston-Hong Kong Radio, AM 1050 and AM 1180, during a live phone-in program.

“In this 25-week program, I found that very few men called in, but for those who called, eight of them expressed that they were abused – physically and/or emotionally – by their partners/wives,” Cheung wrote in an e-mail interview. “I started to research more about male victims/survivors of domestic violence.”

Similarly, Tsui’s personal interest in the subject developed when she was living in Hong Kong and witnessed men as victims of domestic violence. The two researchers’ shared curiosities eventually led them to co-creating this survey.

“With my research, I hope to identify the barriers and facilitators to help-seeking among male victims of partner abuse as well as to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies that are gender-sensitive and responsive to the unique needs of male victims,” she said.

Both researchers recognize that the sheer secretiveness behind this issue is the very root of the problem.

“To help male victims in need, it is important to not only encourage them to ask for help, but also dispel the myth and acknowledge their need for services in the society,” Tsui said.

The survey, which is completely anonymous, is available both online and in paper format. It can be found online at


  • I commend Venus Tsui and Monit Cheung for their “forward thinking” research into male victimization. I am encouraged by the interest in male victims of late. I have been working with male victims who call our helpline (Nat’l line that specializes in helping male victims) for almost a decade now. I can tell you that men will seek services and support if you reach out to them and make it safe for them to do so.
    Due to the efforts of researchers such as Strauss, Dutton, Gelles, Hines, et al society is coming to understand that domestic violence is not a gender based social problem today but a human problem. I, for one, am grateful for this change in societal attitude.
    Sincerely, Jan Elizabeth Brown, Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women

  • I would also like to commend Venus Tsui and Monit Cheung for their work.

    I just hope that they will recognize that another reason that many male victims don’t contact the authorities is because of the biased, sexist procedures of the police and the courts. Many, if not most, police departments in the US have mandatory arrest policies for domestic violence cases. Another dirty little secret they don’t tell you is that they follow the “dominant aggressor” doctrine. In other words, if you are a male then you are going to jail, regardless of who hit whom.

    With the deck stacked against you like that, why would any man want to risk getting the authorities involved?

  • As a “survivor” I can relate to the lack of response or admittance by many men that they indeed have been abused by a mate. I never saw it happening and was totally unprepared for the cruel letdown I suffered by the woman I was seeing for three and a half years. Only once was there physical abuse, but the emotional abuse was there constantly. I just did not understand what was being done and what the harm was until way too late. The emotional hurt done by abuse lasts forever it seems. But things are turning around, slowly, but headway is being gained as more men admit they were or are victims of abuse by the woman in their life.

  • In my profession, I see many men who have been abused by their spouses or former spouses. Not one of them has ever reported it. Many minimize it, deny it, or make excuses for their spouse’s behavior. About 1/3 of the time, they will confess to reciprocal abuse – usually in the context of self-defense. In all cases, they are certain that they will not be heard, not be believed; they are certain that they will be arrested due to “mandatory arrest” and “dominant aggressor” laws, and they are certain that they will be mocked or ridiculed for being “weak”. In about 2/3 of the cases, I was the one who spotted indicators or markers for abuse, asked them about it, and only after my persistent questioning (e.g., “are you ready to tell me about those scratch marks I saw in your face? Not yet? Okay, well, I am here to listen when you do get ready”) did they finally gain the trust to tell me what had taken place. Men who have been abused are extremely fragile.

    I too commend the researchers, and wish them luck. My heart breaks for all victims of abuse.

    • I myself am in legal hell trying to primary custody of my kids. I’m a disabled vet and on ssdi while my ex wife using every opening even many straight out lies to court me and kids. I have 3000+ texts from her saying she doesn’t care about the joint physical and legal custody court order. she even moved 90 miles away. Im disabled so that alot of money and she alienates me but kids know she is doing it. they recorded messages on my phone in case a judge or hearing officer will listen to them asking to live with me and how mom abuses them physically and emotionally and she records all calls I have to my kids. No privacy at all. She was convicted of domestic assault against me but the court is so gender biased. I have plenty of evidence of her lies to have me pay 475 for support when VA gave me 350 for disability. Its increased a lot since and ssdi pay my support obligation now but I cannot afford a lawyer with balls to help me. I have the best intentions and never has any allegation been made or inappropriate anything ever happen so how can she record and listen to private calls to my kids who accuse her of abuse and they told school and principal. She just told my ex and my kids had to pay for it. This is happening everyday. I have all texts from her and her assistant in crim grandmother. It all proves what me and kids claim and her disregard for judges and court orders. Its pure malice against me for going against her and doing the right thing for kids. No one will help! And 95% at least of what you guys says are true. Louisiana is the only state which still operates on Napoleonic Law. This isn’t 1800 or 1980, times are different now and people have treated me as weak or crazy for going against her for her many forms of abuse. The night she was arrested for domestic battery against me was done in front of my kids and parents. I never struck her back. I found out that earlier that night she cheated on me and we were married and she lived in my home temporarily while we explored getting back together, well she was using me to find out my VA disability info and payments, etc… to use later which she did. She cheated at least 3 or 4 people that I’m sure of. The last time her coworker told me and the guys name and she had been drugging me at night so she could use my car to party and cheat. Mind you I have never cheated on any woman or girlfriend in my life. I have a sense of empathy, I know had bad it hurts, rejection, loss of confidence, loss of daily ability to raise and make decisions that are for kids best benefit. I was in Air Force. We have Core Values, Integrity is the number one. I could live anywhere in the world as long as its not an enemy of US. I dont have have to stay here in this blackhole king of a town but I bear it out of love and sense to make up for moms shortcomings. I have always been totally dedicated to my childrens best interest and success as they are both tested gifted and are in honors because I taught them critical thinking skills early as I could. My daughter (10) is total daddys girl and my son (8) is coolest little dude ever. The hardest part I cannot grasp is why such malice and alienation directed at someone who risked death many times over to support you and kids. I did things which keep me up at night with guilt and very real dreams (flashbacks) which happen daily and when I’m stressed to breaking point I seizure up. I’ve woken in hospitals not knowing my name or on floor lying in pool of blood from a laceration on my head. It looked like i got shot or grazed. I’ve with host of med and PTSD and seizures from intense stress (used against me) by ex to gather some way my evidence does not trump hers. However my neurologist says my seizures are brought on by intense stress mainly caused by concern for kids or when shes got me in a panic attack after I told her what Dr. said but her and family continue to ignore the court order, told the kids principal I wasn’t allowed to check them out after my daughters dance. She told the principal I was on drugs cuz I was nodding off. WTF??? I was looking up stuff to do that weekend I had them. My internet history backs it up and I have videos of daughters part but looked at phone while she wasn’t. My ex told principal I didn’t have joint legal and physical custody of both kids and that I was too drugged up to drive them. My dad was there and he calmed things down some. My ex’s stepmother had me arrested for burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, both huge felonies. I was with my kids and parents on lunch when this happened 30 miles away. I have a receipt for lunch and on cameras going back to work and use of maintenance key card usage to say i was working. and witnesses who said I wasn’t driving in the hut n run when that truck was “stolen”. I was arrested couple hours later with no evidence except her world and a cop in her family. That was March 11, 2012 over two and half years ago. They wont let me take polygraph after multiple tries and will not turn over the case to DA to prosecute or dismiss so I have this hanging over me and all jobs now conduct background checks which kills my chances. There is so much more abuse and set ups. I hope and wish someone will read this who is willing to help me be heard unbiased.

      Ryan 3186138195

Leave a Comment