The Roles of Victim and Perpetrator Alcohol Use in Intimate Partner Violence Outcomes

Martie P. Thompson, Clemson University
J.B. Kingree, Clemson University

Alcohol use has been shown to increase the risk of intimate partner violence (IPV), yet little research has examined the role of alcohol in victimization outcomes. We examined the effects of perpetrator and victim alcohol use on the likelihood of sustaining a physical injury and reporting the incident to the police among IPV victims. The sample, subsetted from a larger national sample of 8,000 men and 8,000 women, included 501 men and 1,756 women who had been physically assaulted by intimate partners. Logistic regression results showed that after controlling for victim demographics, victim's alcohol history, and assault-related characteristics, women whose partners had been drinking at the time of the assault were more likely to be injured than women whose partners had not been drinking. A woman's own alcohol use was unrelated to victimization outcomes. Men were more likely to report the incident to the police if their partners had been drinking, but less likely to report the incident to the police if they had been drinking. Results indicate that a partner's incident-specific alcohol use is an important factor in understanding which victims are most likely to be injured and report the incident to the police.

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Updated 05/20/2006