Yet another study has confirmed what other researchers have found in the past: binge drinking significantly increases domestic violence incidents. This newest study, however, has also found that binge drinking is often an issue for both abusers and domestic abuse victims – and that women are slightly more likely than men to be aggressive toward their partner after drinking five or more alcoholic beverages.

The study, which included almost 2,000 adults of all ages living in New Zealand, found that those who binge drank at least once a month were twice as likely to act aggressively toward a spouse and were three times as likely to be a victim of abuse. Across the board, relationships in which one or both partners drank increase the incidents of violence, the severity of the incidents, and feelings of fear.

Alcohol and Violence 

Researchers say that the link between drunkenness and abuse makes sense: drinking may not only make you more violent, but can also make it difficult for the drinker to correctly interpret the behavior of others. All in all, domestic abuse counselors say that roughly one out of two domestic violence incidents involves substance abuse issues.

How can we use this information? Researchers stress that drinking is no excuse for domestic violence -- violence is a choice. However, they also say that curbing substance abuse and addiction issues will be key in lowering domestic violence rates.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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