Friday, October 30, 2009

Letter to the Editor: Alcohol Plays Large Role In Domestic Violence

from JD News

To the editor:

Since 1987, October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness about domestic violence. Toward this end, President Obama has issued an official proclamation and the Department of Justice has issued a press release.

What is missing from these pronouncements is the recognition that alcohol has a significant role to play in domestic violence situations. Over 75 percent of domestic violence victims report that their assailant had been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident (Innovators – Combating Substance Abuse).

According to
A national survey of female college students found that 15 percent of them had been raped at some time since the age of 14. In 53 percent of these cases, the victim was drinking and in 64 percent of these cases, the offender was drinking.

A woman involved in alcohol abuse is at risk for becoming the victim of sexual assault due to the fact that many perpetrators see a woman’s drinking as sexual consent.

Drinking by both victims and offenders has been correlated with assaults taking place in unplanned social situations such as at wedding receptions or bars in which the victim did not know the offender before the assault.

Abused women of all races report less support from their partners, more substance abuse, higher levels of stress, lower self-esteem, and less support from others than women who are not abused.

Men who abuse alcohol and who commit sexual assault frequently commit more severe sexual assaults than men who do not drink excessively but who commit sexual assault.

Continued alcohol abuse without recourse to alcohol treatment programs is one of the major risk factors for violence in intimate relationships.

The correlation between the battering of women and alcohol abuse is the highest for men who believe that male control and power over women are acceptable in certain situations.

There are many secondhand effects of alcohol abuse. Domestic violence is but one. With October recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is necessary that we acknowledge this and help to promote the awareness of the impact substance abuse has on domestic violence.

Tanya P. Roberts
New Bern

No comments:

Post a Comment