Aims: To examine the evidence of association between intimate partner physical or sexual violence (IPV) victimization and alcohol consumption in women.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies released before 6 June 2013. Studies providing an estimate of association between violence and alcohol consumption or alcohol use disorders were eligible for inclusion. Quality was assessed and random effects meta-analyses used to generate pooled odds ratios (OR) where appropriate. Higgins I(2) where P<0.10 was taken to indicate heterogeneity.
Results: Fifty-five studies providing 102 estimates of association met the inclusion criteria. Most estimates were not controlled for partner alcohol use and other key confounders. Seven longitudinal studies provided 12 estimates of the association between alcohol and subsequent IPV; nine of 12 estimates showed a direction of increased odds of subsequent IPV, pooled OR=1.27 [95% confidence interval (CI)=1.07-1.52], I(2) =0%, P=0.437. Nine longitudinal studies provided 15 estimates of association between IPV and subsequent alcohol use; 14 of 15 estimates showed a direction of increased odds of subsequent alcohol use, pooled OR=1.25 (95% CI 1.02-1.52), I(2)=0%, P=0.751. Cross-sectional studies showed an association between IPV and alcohol use, pooled OR=1.80, 95% CI 1.58-2.06, but with substantial heterogeneity, I(2)=60.8%, P<0.0001. Definition of alcohol use partly accounted for heterogeneity in cross-sectional estimates.
Conclusions: There is a clear positive association between alcohol use and intimate partner physical or sexual violence victimization among women, suggesting a need for programming and research that addresses this link. However, the temporal direction of the association remains unclear. Longitudinal studies with multiple waves of data collection are needed.
Keywords: Alcohol consumption; intimate partner violence; women.
© 2013 Society for the Study of Addiction.