According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), twenty-four people per minute are affected be intimate partner violence. (2013) It is estimated that twelve million people in the United States alone are affected each year. Intimate partner violence includes anything from physical or sexual abuse to psychological abuse to stalking or threats by a current or former partner. This form of violence can occur among couples that identify with any sexual orientation. The CDC reports that individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual are at an equal or higher risk for intimate partner violence. (2013) Sexual intimacy within the relationship is not a requirement for violence to be considered intimate partner violence. (CDC, 2013)
The United States Department of Justice reports that women are more likely to be victims of nonfatal intimate partner violence. (Catalano, 2006) It is estimated that two million women a year are victims of physical abuse each year, and that number does not include any other form of intimate partner violence. (Connelly, et al. 2006) Intimate partner violence results in fatalities in thirty percent of all female homicides. (Catalano, 2006) For males, the percentage goes down to five percent. Men and woman ages twenty to thirty-four are at the highest risk for intimate partner violence. Again, both men and women who are married but separated are at higher risk for intimate partner violence. Black and white females are more likely to be victims of nonfatal intimate partner violence. However, white females are more likely to be victims of fatal intimate partner violence. Individuals with a lower income and socioeconomic status are at a greater risk, but females are at a greater risk regardless of income.
In forty percent of all reported incidents, there were children in the household. Statistically speaking, incidents of intimate partner violence generally occur between six in the evening and six in the morning. Lastly, an astounding forty-three percent of all reported incidents of intimate partner violence occurred in the presence of either alcohol or at least one drug. (Catalano, 2006)
Researchers Smith, Homish, Leonard, and Cornelius admit that it is well known that a risk factor for intimate partner violence is substance use. (2012) However, we have a very limited understanding of the association between specific substance use and intimate partner violence. These researchers set out to bring about a deeper understanding of this. For the purpose of this study, researchers examined intimate partner violence in the presence of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and opioid use, as well as poly-substance use of alcohol and cocaine and alcohol and marijuana. (Smith, et al., 2012) Further, this study looked at substance use and intimate partner violence and differentiated between perpetration and victimization. Alcohol and cocaine use disorders were highly associated with intimate partner perpetration whereas cannabis and opioid...