Mason researcher Denise Hines receives $1 million grant to study male victims of intimate partner violence


Denise Hines seeks to reduce stereotypes and bias of men from racial and ethnic minority communities who experience intimate partner violence

Denise Hines
Denise HInes. Photo provided

Intimate partner violence (IPV) research and support are most often focused on abuse against women; however, men also experience this form of violence. The research that does exist on men’s victimization mostly focuses on White men despite men of all racial and ethnic backgrounds experiencing IPV.

A leading expert in under-recognized victims of violence, George Mason University researcher Denise Hines, PhD, will lead a new project to study male victims of IPV, with a focus on men from racial and ethnic minority communities, specifically African American and Latino. She received an anonymous $1 million grant for the project after the donor read her tip sheet about men who experience IPV.

 This research will dispel a lot of stereotypes and racial biases that Black and Latino men who experience domestic violence face above and beyond what White men face. We want to make sure they don’t feel lost or alone. We hope to learn how we can make Black and Latino men feel comfortable coming forward and knowing there are people who will help them get what they need,” said Hines, an associate professor of social work at Mason's College of Public Health.

The four-phase study titled “Understanding male IPV in racial and ethnic minority communities,” will have 300 White males, 300 Black males, and 600 Latino males from both immigrant and non-immigrant communities within the U.S participate. As part of the study, participants will complete a survey with questions about their abuse experiences, barriers to seeking help, experiences when help was sought, and how things like  trauma, mental health issues, and racism affected those experiences.

In phase II of the study, researchers will interview Black and Latino IPV victims to discuss their abuse experiences as they relate to their race/ethnicity/immigration status and how marginalization and stereotypes contribute to their struggles with identifying abuse and seeking and receiving help.

The team will also survey IPV support providers including mental health professionals, medical professionals, social service providers, lawyers, judges, and police officers regarding their attitudes towards male IPV victims versus female IPV victims. The final phase will be interviews with experts from a variety of professions on male IPV victims that along with survey results will form the basis of a best practices white paper.

Hines’ research team includes Emily Douglas, PhD, from Montclair State University, who has worked with Hines on most of her male IPV projects over the past 20 years; Chiara Sabina, PhD, from Rutgers University, who is an expert on IPV in the Latinx community; and Kerry Lee, PhD, from Bryn Mawr College, who is an expert on IPV in the African American/Black community. A doctoral student and a master’s student will assist with the project.