BEHS 364 The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse

BEHS 364 The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse

BEHS 364 The term “intimate partner violence” describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse

Alcohol and Intimate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence is a significant health problem because of the severe impacts of abuse on the mental and physical health of the victims. Studies and other evidence show that alcohol use is present in more than half of cases of intimate partner abuse (Yaya & Ghose, 2019). This means that alcohol use increases the likelihood or severity of abuse in an intimate partner relationship. The connection between alcohol and abuse is that it affects physical and cognitive functioning, causing a loss of self-control. Hence, people who drink alcohol are less likely to appeal to rationality, instead, they will prefer violent approaches to conflict resolution (Yalch et al., 2022).

One of the elements of the power and control wheel is denying, minimizing, and blaming, which refers to the act of invalidating the abuse, denying that it did not happen, or shifting the responsibility for one’s actions to the abuser (Abdo, 2020). Alcohol use can exacerbate this element of the power and control wheel in various ways. First, people who drink alcohol use their state of intoxication as an excuse to pretend that either they do not remember the abuse occurred or blame it on their intoxicated state.

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Secondly, apart from blaming intoxication, people who consume too much alcohol often blame their partners as the

BEHS 364 The term intimate partner violence describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse
BEHS 364 The term intimate partner violence describes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse

cause of their drinking. For example, some say that the partner is causing distress, driving them into alcohol. Hence, the consequences of alcohol abuse such as violence are the fault of the partner. Thirdly, alcohol worsens the fact that abusers often make their acts look insignificant to invalidate the abuse. To this end, alcohol cause inhibitions and make it hard for a person to think straight, making them believe that their actions have no impact on the victim (Sontate et al., 2021). Dismissing the existence of abuse is a characteristic in most intimate partners and it makes the victim question and even doubt themselves that the abuse does not occur.

References

Abdo, C. (2020). Domestic violence and substance abuse during COVID19: A systematic review. Indian Journal of Psychiatry , 62(Suppl 3), S337-s342. .

Sontate, K., Kamaluddin, M., Mohamed, I., Mohamed, R., Shaikh, M., Kamal, H., & Kumar, J. (2021). Alcohol, Aggression, and Violence: From Public Health to Neuroscience. Frontal Psychol. , 12:699726. https://www.doi.10.3389/fpsyg.2021.699726

Yalch, M., Christodoulou, J., Rotheram-Borus, M., & Tomlinson, M. (2022). Longitudinal Association Between Intimate Partner Violence and Alcohol Use in a Population Cohort of South African Women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605221092068.

Yaya, S., & Ghose, B. (2019). Alcohol Drinking by Husbands/Partners Is Associated with Higher Intimate Partner Violence against Women in Angola. Safety , 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5010005