Despite the prevalence of domestic violence (DV) in Belgium, few studies have examined the role of general medicine practice in the management of perpetrators of DV. What is the experience of Belgian general practitioners in the management of male perpetrators of domestic violence?
A qualitative study examined the history of Belgian general practitioners in the supervision of men who commit domestic violence. Through a snowball sampling and individual semi-directed interviews, we were able to collect information from five general practitioners. The heterogeneity of profiles in terms of gender, age, years of experience, type, and location of practice was preferred to obtain a rich and diversified sample. These five interviews were marked out by an interview guide and then strictly transcribed.
Three main themes related to the physicians' experience were identified:  by what means do the physicians identify male perpetrators of violence against women (VAW) and how can they be considered as patients? Their identification is mostly made by the female victims. There is little self-identification by the perpetrators of VAW. This is a victim-centered approach. The importance of the therapeutic relationship with the male perpetrators of violence is emphasized.  The second theme highlights a generalized taboo among respondents towards male perpetrators of sexual violence, which has an impact on their treatment. It proposes communication and verbalization in order to include  general medicine in a network- centered system on the male perpetrators of violence. This system is necessary to provide support and adequate multidisciplinary management of male perpetrators of domestic abuse.
There is a general taboo around male perpetrators of DV. General medicine practice contributes to this taboo. There is a lack of responsibility on the part of general practitioners, leading to a poor care for male perpetrators of domestic abuse. A network system is essential for their appropriate management. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of the front liners in preventing domestic violence.
General medicine practice, general practitioner, male perpetrators of domestic violence, domestic violence, management, qualitative study