Gay and Bisexual Men’s Perceptions of Police Helpfulness in Response to Male-Male Intimate Partner Violence

Catherine Finneran, Emory University

Despite several recent studies documenting high rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) among gay and bisexual men (GBM), the literature is silent regarding GBM’s perceptions of IPV within their community, or the perceptions of the helpfulness of a hypothetical police response to male-male IPV. Data were drawn from a 2011 survey of venue-recruited GBM (n=1,041) and analyzed through chi-square tests and logistic regression. Although the majority of respondents had similar perceptions of the commonness and severity of IPV in GBM compared to heterosexual women, the majority of the sample (58.6%) reported perceiving that contacting the police would be less helpful for a GBM IPV victim than for a heterosexual female IPV victim. Associations were found between increasing experiences of homophobic discrimination and this comparatively negative view of police response. This learned anticipation of rejection should be considered as the response to male-male intimate partner violence grows.

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Presented in Poster Session 6