Finding Meaning After Same-Sex Partner Abuse: A Content Analysis of Experiences of Men With HIV

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Abstract:

Given the high rates of partner abuse (PA) among sexual minority men with HIV, it is surprising that this phenomenon remains largely understudied in this group. The extant literature reveals little about the lived experiences of the men who experience abuse in their primary relationships. Furthermore, the role of meaning making in recovery from PA remains unclear for any demographic group. Knowledge of such appraisals may provide insight into the ways that sexual minority men with HIV understand or assign value to their abuse experiences. Here, we aim to qualitatively explore the ways in which such men (N = 28) find meaning following their experiences of PA. In general, most men reported a sense of personal strength from having endured and survived PA. Surprisingly, the men did not link their postabuse recovery experiences to their sexual minority identity nor to their HIV status. Some men mentioned an increased sense of agency and attention to their own needs in their postabuse lives. With the exception of positive relationships with providers, the men described little use of peer or family support and ongoing social isolation.

Keywords: ADVERSARIAL GROWTH; DOMESTIC VIOLENCE; MEANING MAKING; POSTTRAUMATIC GROWTH; SEXUAL ORIENTATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.28.1.161

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2012 Impact Factor is 0.981.
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