Although there is ample evidence that alcoholusage is associated with greater frequency, incidenceand severity of spouse battering, there is alsoconsiderable evidence which does not support a direct linkage. This research investigates aheretofore neglected area, the role of substance use ininducing fear in victims. As part of a larger study ofthe police response to battering, 419 female victims of male offenders participated in intensiveinterviews; the sample consisted of 69.9% Black and28.9% White women. All the women had been victims of atleast one occurrence of misdemeanor-level abuse, and many were in chronically abusive relationships.The women participating in this study were moderatelyeducated and relatively young, with a mean age of 30years old. Relationship status was bimodal with roughly equal numbers of married and cohabitingcouples; there were relatively few who were divorced orseparated from their assailants, or were ex-cohabitants.The male partners of women represented in this sample were extremely heavy drinkerscompared to a national sample. The quantity andfrequency of alcohol use was less predictive ofthreatening or physically battering behavior than wasmale drunkenness. Frequent drunkenness was highly correlated withboth threats and with battering. Similarly, victims'fear of their partners was much more strongly associatedwith how frequently they were drunk than with drinking itself.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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