BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:General practitioners (GPs) are, in theory, well placed in the healthcare system to identify and respond to male patients who perpetrate intimate partner violence (IPV). Men who use violence in relationships routinely present to healthcare settings, yet there is limited evidence to guide GPs in this area of their work. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' experiences of intervening early with male patients who use violence in their relationships. METHOD:Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 21 Victorian GPs and analysed thematically. RESULTS:GPs were inexperienced and felt unprepared to identify and respond to male patients who perpetrate IPV, expressing concern that raising the issue may harm their therapeutic relationships with their patients. DISCUSSION:Practical advice on how to identify and respond effectively to male patients who perpetrate IPV may help alleviate GPs' concerns. Our findings suggest that current guidelines and training provided to GPs are insufficient to help them navigate this challenging area.