Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Intimate Partner Violence and Domestic Violence Myths: A Comparison of Women with and without Alcoholic Husbands (A Study from India)*

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Intimate Partner Violence and Domestic Violence Myths: A Comparison of Women with and without Alcoholic Husbands (A Study from India)*

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Intimate Partner Violence IPV is a global issue that transcends geographical boundaries and pervades all social strata. While precise information on this is difficult to come by, authoritative statistics reveal that the extent of physical or sexual violence, or both, by an intimate partner, reported over a lifetime, varied widely, ranging from 15% in Yokohama city, Japan, to 7 1 % in Ethiopia province, with prevalence estimates in most countries ranging from 30% to 60% in a multi-site 10 country study on domestic violence (WHO, 2005). Around two-third of married women in India are victims of domestic violence and as many as 70 per cent of them between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or coerced sex (UNFPA, 2005). In the United States, approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually (National Violence Against Women Survey, 2000) and over 1 million female victims of domestic abuse have been reported in England and Wales in the last year (British Crime Survey, 2009/20 1 0). Compared with men, women are disproportionately exposed to chronic types of interpersonal violence (Jones et al., 2001). The physical, emotional, and economic costs of IPV on victims and perpetrators, as well as those around them have been well documented in both the scientific and lay press (Klostermann, 2006). IPV by both genders is associated with negative consequences, including injuries, fear, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and homicide, although male-perpetrated IPV has more detrimental effects (for reviews see Archer, 2000; Hines & Malley-Morrison, 2001).

There is a considerable amount of Western literature which establishes linkages between alcoholism, marital dissatisfaction and discord experienced by the spouse (see review by Marshall, 2003). Findings from Indian studies are similar and indicate poorer marital adjustment and quality of life (Stanley, 2006), higher levels of communication apprehension and perception of danger within their marital relationships (Stanley, 2008) and poorer dyadic adjustment on domains such as cohesion, consensus, affectional expression and marital satisfaction vis-à-vis a comparison group comprising of wives of non-alcoholics (Stanley & Anitha,2007).

The role of alcohol consumption in cases of domestic violence has been observed by several investigators (e.g., Gilchrist et al., 2003; Galvani, 2010). A meta-analysis of 22 studies by Stith et al., (2004) indicates that alcohol use is a strong risk factor for domestic violence.

Another meta-analytic review by Foran and O'Leary (2008) clearly indicates that alcohol and IPV are associated for both males and females. Stuart et al., (2006), have also found that alcohol problems in perpetrators and their partners contributed directly and indirectly to IPV, even after including other correlates of violence in the model.

The importance of perceptual dynamics in IPV cannot be devalued. The social cognitive perspective provides an insight into the association between alcohol misuse and IPV It explains how people acquire and maintain certain behavioral patterns and views human functioning as the product of a dynamic interplay of personal, behavioral, and environmental influences (Pajares, 2002). It proposes that drinking behavior is, in part, governed by outcome expectancies related to the perceived consequences of consuming alcohol. These alcohol expectancies arc representations of alcohol related reinforcement and include domains such as enhanced socialization, relaxation, altered cognition, sexual enhancement, assertion, and affective change (Young et al., 2006). Kaufman Kantor and Asidigian (1997) found that people hold a range of beliefs about alcohol and that male perpetrators were significantly more likely than female perpetrators to subscribe to the belief that alcohol use leads to losing one's temper and behaving impulsively. Perpetrators often attempt to use alcohol as an excuse for their actions (called "deviance disavowal", Collins, 1989). …

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