According to studies, almost twenty people are physically abused by their intimate partner every minute in the United States. In response to this statistic, researchers at the University of New Mexico are developing a study to determine what the relationship between alcohol consumption and domestic violence. Understanding this connection will better assist with intervention methods for people suffering from domestic violence and also for people suffering from an addiction to alcohol.
“We hope to learn why intimate partner violence (IPV) is more likely to occur when people are drinking alcohol. IPV is a serious public health problem, and we are hoping to identify new ways to intervene with this problem,” said Brandi Fink, assistant professor at the UNM Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
Researchers at the UNM are looking into several other studies that may explain why drinking and violence seem to go hand in hand. In addition to the investigation, researchers will also perform their own study that includes an experimental phase. Study subjects will consume alcohol while hooked up to a monitoring device as they are answering questions on the computer. The hope is that they will be able to identify if there are any mechanisms of the brain that are being affected by the alcohol that would also increase the likelihood of violence.
Other studies have shown that men who consume large amounts of alcohol are three times more likely to abuse their significant other, while women are eleven times more likely. Researchers also know that as each drink is consumed the risk for violence increases by 13 percent, and in some cases up to 70 percent if both partners are drinking. These statistics point to the severity of the problem and the need for further research. Additionally, children can be present in the home when alcohol is being consumed or when violence is taking place. Separate studies have proven the connection between parents behaviors and the behaviors of the child in the future. Understanding how to prevent IPV, especially when one or both of the parents are under the influence, is vital in maintaining a safe and healthy home life for the children.