Alcohol and Dating Violence

Excessive use of alcohol can create a number of consequences, becoming victim to violence is just one. This article discusses the correlation between alcohol and dating violence. Keep reading for information and statistics on alcohol and dating violence.

Dating violence and partner violence are concerns that continue to cause problems in our society. There are a number of factors that contribute to dating violence, and one of them can be alcohol. However, points out Dr. K. Daniel O’Leary in an interview on the web site of SUNY Potsdam, alcohol does not actually cause dating violence, even though it can be a risk factor. O’Leary mentions that in close to 75% of instances of physical aggression, neither partner was using alcohol.

This is an interesting finding that points out that there are a number of disparate factors that can go into dating violence. Even though alcohol does not cause dating violence, it can play a role. And arrests involving partner violence are quite telling, as O’Leary reports that in arrests of male aggressors, close to 50% of them had been drinking.

What is dating violence?

It helps to understand what qualifies as dating violence before exploring the relationship between alcohol and dating violence. Dating violence takes place between two people on a date, or in a relationship. It includes physical aggression such as slapping, pushing, punching, kicking and other non-sexual forms of physical violence.

It is important to note that sexual aggression, though also physical, is generally classified differently. Sexual aggression consists of unwanted sexual contact, such as intercourse, fondling, and kissing. Both of these types of dating violence can result in physical harm to the victim. And both can include alcohol as a risk factor.

Alcohol and dating violence

One of the biggest problems with alcohol is its ability to alter the judgment and motor skills of the victim. Victims of dating violence who are under the influence of alcohol have difficulty fully understanding what is going on, and often cannot get away from an attacker. In cases of sexual violence, an inebriated victim is often in no shape to deny consent. Rape of those under the influence of alcohol can be perpetrated because the victim is often in a state that does not allow him or her to protest.

In terms of contributing to violence on the side of the aggressor, alcohol can play a role. Once again, judgment is hampered, and the alcohol may loosen an aggressor up to the point where he or she does something that he or she would not do if sober.

Dr. O’Leary also points out that men who engage in binge drinking behaviors are more likely to be physically aggressive toward their partners than were men who drank much less. So, even though alcohol might not be a direct cause of dating violence, it is a risk factor, and there is a reasonably high correlation between the two. In alcoholics, the propensity to become physically aggressive toward a partner increases, according to Dr. O’Leary.

Women and dating violence

When we think of dating violence, we often assume that it is men beating on women. While this may be true in many cases, it is important to remember that some aggressors are women. Some women who have been binge drinking become physically abusive toward their partners. With the alcohol clouding their judgment, it can result in dating violence. It is important to remember that men can be victims as well, and to be sensitive to that. And, of course, it is important to get anyone with a drinking problem to stop, since it can result a number of negative consequences.

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