Domestic violence: “Alcohol is present in more than one in two feminicides”


Domestic violence: “Alcohol is present in more than one in two feminicides”
Written by madishthestylebar

Ihe fight against violence against women is a major cause of Emmanuel Macron’s second five-year term. During a trip to Dijon at the end of November 2022, the president reiterated his commitment to intensify government action to bring down the curve of feminicides (110 women killed in 2022 by their companions or ex).

Several levers have already been considered, such as the establishment of specialized jurisdictions or the deployment of anti-reconciliation bracelets, but their impact is uncertain. However, there are concrete avenues already tested abroad that could expand the arsenal. Measures concerning alcohol and the treatment of addictions are part of this.

Data from the delegation to victims of the Ministry of the Interior established in 2018 that a third of the perpetrators of spousal homicide had consumed alcohol in the context of the facts. If we add the alcoholization of the victims, alcohol is present in more than one out of two feminicides. This observation is not limited to lethal violence. An American university team led by Brian Cafferky has aggregated 285 studies on alcohol use and violence between intimate partners.

Based on an impressive sample of more than 625,000 participants, this summary published in 2018 showed that alcohol consumption was significantly linked to the status of perpetrator but also of victim of violence. The study confirmed that alcohol increased the risk in people with abuse or addiction, but also increased it in those who consumed it only once or twice a month.

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In other words, the problems caused by alcohol do not only reside in profiles of at-risk consumers, although these contribute disproportionately. This specific effect of alcohol (therefore independent of the characteristics of the consumers themselves) has been corroborated by studies measuring the daily consumption of people from the general population over several weeks to establish whether the probability of the onset of an aggressive episode increased accordingly.

Femicide has many causalities

Further confirmation was provided by laboratory studies. Their principle is to administer to healthy participants predefined doses of alcohol and to compare the effects on their behavior compared to a control group who drank a placebo.

For example, we ask couples to start a discussion on daily differences and conflicts and we count a gradient of irritation or verbal hostility according to their level of alcoholism. Whatever the methods used, we find that alcohol promotes violent behavior by several neuropsychological mechanisms but also by the cultural legitimization that drunkenness provides for the loss of control.

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