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Influence of Alcohol and Drugs on Women's Utilization of the Police for Domestic Violence

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1999
113 pages
This study used data from interviews of 419 women who were involved in a misdemeanor-level incident of domestic assault for which the police had received a call from the victim or another person to determine if calling the police for these incidents was influenced by drug abuse of either the abusers or the victims.
The research was conducted in Charlotte, N.C., and also used data from police reports about these incidents. Substance use was measured with respect to the general pattern of alcohol consumption, the frequency of drinking, subjective perceptions of the offender's having a problem with alcohol or drugs, and frequency and type of drug abuse. Results revealed that alcohol or drug use by male abusers was related to calls to police; however, substance use by female victims was not related to calls to police. Offender drunkenness, rather than the absolute quantity or frequency of alcohol consumption, escalated police use by abused women; this factor was the most consistent predictor of a call to the police. The frequency of calling the police over the length of the relationship was significantly associated with offender drunkenness, marijuana use, the frequency of threats to the victim and hitting the victim, and race. A majority of women reported that their partners were either drinking or drunk at the time of the presenting incident. Tables, figures, footnotes, and 86 references

Date Published: June 1, 1999