Intimate partner violence against men – from shame to help

Project period

01.01.2022 – 30.06.2023

Project staff

Dr. Jonas Schemmel (project manager)

Laura-Romina Goede

Philipp Müller

Enrica Wegener (research assistant)


WEISSER Ring Stiftung

Kriminologisches Forschungsinstitut Niedersachsen (KFN e.V.)

Project description

The issue of intimate partner violence has been resonating in our society, academic discourses, and policy debates for several decades and is likely to gain even more gravity and thus societal importance under the conditions of the current Corona pandemic (see for example, Neubert et al., 2020 and Bradbury-Jones & Isham, 2020). In 2011, a Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence was adopted at a meeting of the Council of Europe in Istanbul. In Germany, the convention entered into force on February 1st, 2018, and incorporates recommendations to include all victims of intimate partner violence. Accordingly, in addition to women and children, men affected by violence should also be protected. However, there is a lack of scientific studies in Germany that specifically address intimate partner violence against men.

The research project “Intimate partner violence against men – from shame to help” addresses this research gap. The goal of the project is to determine the relationship dynamics, experiences of violence, and exposure to violence of men in heterosexual and same-sex partner relationships. Forms of physical, psychological and sexualized violence are to be taken into account. The study should also take into account the previous personal histories of those affected with regard to the individual acts of violence. Furthermore, the study is to gain insights into the extent and relevance of violence against men in partnerships and shed light on the background and impact of the violence.

The project will combine different research methods. In order to investigate the prevalence and extent of violence against men in partner relationships, a Germany-wide representative quantitative online survey (N=12,000) is planned. In addition to the online questionnaire, respondents will be offered the opportunity to obtain a paper questionnaire, making this a mixed-mode design. The random selection of the persons to be surveyed is to be based on a so-called residents’ registration office sample. In addition, personal interviews with affected men (N=15) will be conducted. The aim of the qualitative interviews is to depict the subjective experience of violence and to reconstruct the underlying dynamics at the level of the couple relationship. The interviews will also shed light on positive and negative experiences with support and counseling services.

After the evaluation of the quantitative and qualitative data has been completed, the results of the project will be presented at a symposium with about 20 relevant stakeholders (people in aid organizations, voluntary victim helpers, police, victim advocates, psychotherapists, self-help). Subsequently, topic-centered workshops will take place in parallel, in which the participants will discuss the results of the project with regard to an improved help and counseling structure. The workshops will be methodically designed as focus group discussions and will be moderated and recorded by members of the research team.

If you have any questions about the project, please send an e-mail to


Research Report

SPIEGEL Interview

Press release