This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of:
Juwono S, Luis Flores Anato J, Kirschbaum AL, Metheny N, Dvorakova M, Skakoon-Sparling S, Moore DM, Grace D, Hart TA, Lambert G, Lachowsky NJ, Jollimore J, Cox J, Maheu-Giroux M. Prevalence, determinants, and trends in the experience and perpetration of intimate partner violence among a cohort of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada (2017-2022). medRxiv 2023 July 25. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2023.07.24.23293112.
The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.
An ongoing cohort study that received funding from the CITF did a sub-study which found that many gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) had experienced or had perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime. The research, published in preprint and not yet peer-reviewed, suggests that approximately 1 in 3 participants reported experiencing physical and/or sexual IPV and 17% reported being the one inflicting IPV. The prevalence of IPV among GBM was stable over the past six months in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. This study was led by Stephen Juwono (graduate student at McGill University) and Drs. Mathieu Maheu-Giroux and Joseph Cox (McGill University), with support from CITF-funded researchers Dr. Nathan Lachowsky (University of Victoria) and Dr. Daniel Grace (University of Toronto).
Intimate partner violence (IPV) includes psychological, physical, and sexual violence by a former or current intimate partner.
- At the first study visit, 31% of participants reported having previously experienced IPV and 17% reported having perpetrated the IPV.
- During follow-up, more men had experienced IPV (7%) in the previous six months than had committed it (4%).
- Factors associated with having experienced IPV included having had other IPV experiences, having a lower education level, having partaken in unregulated (injection and non-injection) substance use, or self-identifying as Indigenous. Risk increased for individuals who were living with HIV, belonged to a lower income group, had symptoms of anxiety, had a history of childhood sexual abuse, or had no sexual agreement withA mutual understanding between two partners about the extent and types of sexual activities permitted within and outside their relationship. their partnerA mutual understanding between two partners about the extent and types of sexual activities permitted within and outside their relationship..
- Factors associated with having perpetrated IPV included self-identifying as Indigenous, being bisexual, having a lower education level, not having sexual agreement with their partner, partaking in unregulated substance use (injection and non-injection), having symptoms of depression, and having a history of selling sex.
- The level of IPV was stable over the course of the study from February 2017 to August 2022. COVID-19 restrictions were not associated with a change in IPV levels in this cohort.
The study underscores how marginalized identities and co-occurring health states can intersect in a syndemic fashion to increase the risk of experiencing and perpetrating IPV. It highlights the need for interventions that are tailored for and with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men to address risk factors and reduce IPV. Preventive measures, screening, and access to dedicated violence prevention resources are essential to improve the health and well-being of GBM affected by IPV.
The data was obtained from the Engage Cohort Study (2017-2022) of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver recruited between February 2017 and August 2019 through respondent-driven sampling (RDS).