© 2015 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. Background Prevalence of intimate partner violence perpetration is higher among male substance misusers than men in the general population. Previous studies have included few risk factors, limiting their capacity to inform interventions. Aim The aim of this study was to examine factors associated with intimate partner violence by male substance misusers. Methods Two hundred and thirty-five men in treatment for substance misuse completed surveys that included the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale and the Psychological Maltreatment of Women Inventory (PMWI). Variables significant in bivariate analyses were entered into multiple logistic regression analyses. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with perpetrators and analysed using a framework approach. Results Just over a third of the men (34%) had been violent in the last year to their current/most recent partner. After excluding the men's own domestic victimisation from the multivariate model, perpetratation of such violence was significantly and independently associated with lower level of education, having higher PMWI dominance-isolation and emotional-verbal subscale scores and parents who had separated/divorced, and at a lower level of significance, childhood physical abuse, hazardous drinking and cocaine as the principal drug for which treatment was sought. Interview data suggested that perpetrators 'blamed' alcohol or cocaine use, jealousy, control and provocation or 'fighting back' for their behaviour. Conclusions Intimate partner violence is common among men attending substance misuse treatment. Integrated interventions should that address both intimate partner violence and substance misuse should be considered. Areas for intervention would include reducing dominating-isolating behaviours and emotional-verbal abuse, improving communication skills, challenging gender-specific roles and believing that substance use 'causes' violent behaviour.