Poverty, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Linked to Violence Against Women

Two studies published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine found that alcohol, drugs and unemployment are dramatic contributors to violence against women.

The studies compared the cases of 661 female victims of violence treated in emergency rooms to cases of 1,179 women and girls treated for other medical problems. One study, led by Demetrios Kyriacou of the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar, CA, determined that a woman’s risk of injury from a domestic violence injury was + 3.6 times higher if the male partner abused alcohol, + 3.5 times higher if the used illegal drugs, and + 3.1 times higher if he was not employed.

The Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Center for Women & Policing’s Equality Denied: Status of Women in Policing Report found that domestic violence is the single major cause of injury to women and yet the majority of these violent crimes against women go unreported and uninvestigated by law enforcement agencies. The National Center for Women & Policing works to improve law enforcement response to incidents of domestic violence — crimes that account for as much as 50% of 911 calls to police.


Reuters and NCWP - December 16, 1999

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