2.8 A. Research and Evaluations

Experiences of Domestic Violence and Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Trevillion, K., Oram, S., Feder, G. and Howard, L. (2012)

Findings of a systematic review of the prevalence of domestic violence victimisation among different psychiatric diagnoses. High rates of experiencing domestic violence were found and further longitudinal studies are recommended to identify pathways to being a victim of domestic violence to optimise healthcare responses.

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Gender Differences in the Effects of Exposure to Violence on Adolescent Substance Use

Pinchevsky, Wright, and Fagan, (2013) [abstract]

This research found that exposure to violence-direct and indirect-independently increase the frequency of subsequent alcohol use, binge drinking, and marijuana use among males and females. Females who had been directly victimized engaged in more frequent binge drinking than males.

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Violence, abuse and mental health in England

Scott, Williams, Kelly, et al (2013)

Findings from stage 1 of project, which aims to investigate the long-term impact of abuse, comprised analysis of data collected through the APMS (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey), highlighted that survivors of the most extensive physical and sexual violence are up to 15 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.

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Mental Disorders Associated With Subpopulations of Women Affected by Violence and Abuse

Cavanaugh, Martins, Petras, and Campbell (2013) [abstract]

In their analysis of the associations between experiences of violence and abuse and various mental health problems, the authors found that women who had witnessed domestic violence as a child and/or have experienced sexual violence at some point in their life were up to 8-9 times more likely to have had post-traumatic stress or a drug use disorder in the past year.

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Intimate partner violence victimization and alcohol consumption in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis 

Devries, Child, et al. (2014) [abstract]

This systematic review and meta-analysis identified 55 studies relating to women’s use of alcohol and experiences of domestic and sexual violence. The included studies reinforced our understanding of a bidirectional relationship between domestic violence and substance use – victims are more likely to use alcohol and substance use is associated with increased risk of victimisation. The authors note, however, that the quality of evidence is limited and recommend further longitudinal research to develop a robust picture of women’s experiences of domestic violence and alcohol use.

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Psychological, Physical, and Sexual Abuse in Addicted Patients Who Undergo Treatment

Fernandez-Montalvo, J., Lopez-Goni, J.J. and Arteaga, A. (2014) [abstract]

Among a sample of 252 people in a drug treatment programme in Spain, 79.6% of women and 37.8% of men reported a lifetime experience of domestic violence. Overall, this constituted 46% of the sample. In addition, in comparison with people who had not experienced domestic violence, abuse survivors were found to be more severely drug dependent and to have comorbid mental health problems.

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Domestic Abuse & Mental Health – What Women Want Group

Liverpool Mental Health Consortium (2014)

Drawing on consultation with women in Liverpool affected by domestic abuse and mental health, this report mirrors previous Stella Project publications in documenting the inconsistent approach to addressing domestic violence within health services, and that many women receive a poor response. Women noted the inefficacy of simply prescribing medication and the need for all health professionals to be more aware of specialist interventions that women could be referred to.

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Making the connection: Developing integrated approaches to domestic violence and substance misuse

DrugScope and LDAN (2013)

LDAN/DrugScope’s Domestic Violence project, funded by London Councils, took place over a fouryear period, and focused on the development of a cross-sectoral network bringing together domestic  violence and drug and alcohol services. This briefing contextualises the project by setting out facts and figures relating to domestic violence and substance misuse, and by providing an overview of the current policy environment at national, local and London level. It then summarises the key learning from the project, and provides examples of good practice.

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Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) - Evaluation Research Study

Professor Harwin, J et al. Brunel University (2011)

The Nuffield Foundation and Home Office funded Brunel University to carry out an independent first stage evaluation of FDAC.  The aims were:

  • to describe the FDAC pilot and identify set-up and implementation lessons
  • to make comparisons with standard court proceedings involving parental substance misuse, including a comparison of costs, and
  • to indicate whether this different approach might lead to better outcomes for children and parents.

The final report, separate executive summary and highlights are now available.

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Supporting families affected by substance use and domestic violence

Dr Galvani, S. The Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care 
University of Bedfordshire (2010)

The aims of the research project were to explore the views and perspectives of family members of substance users on the relationship between alcohol, drugs and domestic abuse and to develop practice and policy recommendations based on these findings and the wider literature

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No Boundaries

Tayside Domestic Abuse and Substance Use Project (2008)

Report of research undertaken within Tayside in Scotland to understand the issues facing survivors with problematic substance use.

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Exploring the links between domestic violence and alcohol: a 12 month project in Easington District

East Durham Domestic Violence Forum (2008)

This joint project between the East Durham Domestic Violence Forum and the DISC Easington Substance Misuse Initiative set out to raise awareness about the dual issues amongst agencies and the public within the region and explore the specific needs of agencies to improve partnership working.

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Is Peer Injecting a Form of Intimate Partner Abuse? A qualitative study of the experiences of women drug users

Wright, N. M. J. et al. (2007) [abstract]

This study used qualitative research to explore women drug users’ experiences of abuse from intimate partners when being injected with illicit drugs.  In-depth interviews were conducted with 45 women drug users in the city of Leeds and the area of North Nottinghamshire, UK. The practice of peer injecting illicit drugs places women recipients at risk of physical, economic and emotional abuse from their male intimate partner injectors.

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The impact on violence and abuse on engagement and retention rates for women in substance use treatment

Galvani, S. and Humphreys, C. (2007)

This report produced for the National Treatment Agency combines a literature review of all available evidence on this issue with interviews with key informants with practice experience in this area. The key finding from this study is that there is a severe lack of research evidence on the impacts of domestic violence and abuse on the engagement and retention rates of women in substance use treatment. The research available is often methodologically flawed and primarily American.  However, the practice based experience of the key informants suggests that domestic violence does have an impact on both engagement and retention.

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Investigating and detecting recorded offences of rape: study of attrition 2003/04

Feist A. and al. (2007)

Produced on behalf of the Home Office, this research explores issues surrounding the detection and conviction of rape cases and contains a section on alcohol and drug consumption. The analysis finds that alcohol consumption on the part of the victim was less common where the perpetrator was a partner/ex-partner compared to an acquaintance, friend, family member or stranger. Victims of stranger assaults formed the highest proportion of victims who had been highly intoxicated at the time of the offence.

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London: The Highs and Lows 2

Greater London Alcohol and Drugs Alliance (2007)

This second publication from GLADA provides the most comprehensive information about drug and alcohol use across London and the impact on individuals and local communities. A detailed analysis of the effects of substance use on health, crime and families is given, alongside a section dedicated to the effects of drug and alcohol use on women in London.

Full report: click here

Executive Summary: click here


Parental Alcohol Misuse in Complex Families: the implications for engagement

Taylor, A. et al. (2006) [abstract]

This article explores some of the challenges of reaching children and parents in such circumstances. Based on research that included a wider evaluation of a specialist service for children and families in which alcohol is a problem, a sample of families who ‘dropped out’ of contact are presented and discussed many of whom were experiencing domestic violence.

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Stella Project Evaluation

Carter, R. (2006)

The report summarises the findings of an evaluation of the effectiveness of the training and events delivered by the Stella Project over a four year period. In addition it makes recommendations for future directions for the work of the Stella Project.

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Domestic violence and substance use: overlapping issues in separate services?

Humphreys, C. et al. (2005)

This report details a one year funded project to identify strategies for progressing practice and policy  through building upon the developing good practice in the substance use and domestic violence sectors, to ascertain the overlap between the issues for men and  women accessing services, and to seek service user experiences.

Full report: click here


Grasping the Nettle: alcohol and domestic violence

Galvani, S. (2005) [abstract]

This paper provides an overview of the association between alcohol and domestic violence and examines the implications for policy and practice. The relationship between alcohol and domestic violence is a controversial and sensitive subject. While there is no evidence that alcohol alone causes domestic violence, there is evidence that where violence exists, alcohol is often present.

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Physical and Sexual Abuse among Drug Users Contacting Drug Treatment Services in Scotland

McKeganey, N. et al. (2005) [abstract]

To date there has been no previous attempt to identify the extent of physical and sexual abuse among drug users in Scotland. Using data from a prospective study of the effectiveness of drug treatment agencies in Scotland this paper reports information on the extent of abuse among drug users coming forward for drug treatment.

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DASL Domestic Violence and Substance Misuse Project Report

Ranzetta, L. (2005)

Providing an early evaluation of a domestic violence initiative based in Drug and Alcohol Services London (DASL) this report will be of interest to substance misuse service providers and commissioners.

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Domestic Violence and Substance Use: Making the Links

Tower Hamlets Partnership (2005)

This report provides an evaluation of service provision in Tower Hamlets to inform the development of the Making the Links Project.

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Domestic violence and substance misuse: final report

Camden Safety Net (2004)

This report outlines the working practices of services in responding to clients experiencing both domestic violence and substance use as well as providing a literature review.

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Domestic violence and substance use: a preliminary evaluation of service access and provision in Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham Domestic Violence Forum (2004)

This report presents the findings of a preliminary evaluation of service access and provision for clients in the borough co-affected by domestic violence and substance misuse.

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Responsible Disinhibition: alcohol, men and violence to women

Galvani, S. (2004) [abstract]

This article reports on research with 20 women that resulted in an alternative theory on the role of alcohol in their partner's violence. The results of the research are summarised and placed within the theoretical model, 'Responsible Disinhibition’.

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Separate Issues Shared Solutions

Stella Project (2002)

Report from the launch of the Stella Project in December 2002, outlining the issues in responding effectively to survivors and their children experiencing problematic substance use and making recommendations for future practice.

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Domestic Violence and Substance Use: tackling complexity

Humphreys, C. et al.(2005) [abstract]

Domestic violence and substance use are issues which pervade social work practice, yet are often on the margins of the knowledge base for practitioners and their managers. This article provides an overview of the literature on substance use and domestic violence, highlighting the problems with the separation of both practice and policy in these areas. Research on substance use and the needs of women survivors of domestic violence are explored, alongside the more substantial literature on perpetrators of domestic violence and patterns of substance use.

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Domestic Violence and Alcohol Use: trauma-related symptoms and motives for drinking

Kaysen, D. et al. (2007)

This study examined alcohol use amongst domestic violence survivors in the US (n= 369). Results suggest the importance of assessing trauma symptoms and motives for drinking in understanding alcohol use in recent survivors of domestic violence.

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Childhood and Adult Violence in the Lives of Women who Misuse Substances

Gutierres, S. E. and Van Puymbroeck, C (2006) [abstract]

A review of the literature found that women substance misusers, more often than men, have been found to have high rates of violent victimization as children and as adults. These victims of childhood sexual and physical abuse exhibit negative psychological outcomes of low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety, and they may turn to substance use as a way to cope with these painful psychological consequences.

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Experiencing Interpersonal Violence: perspectives of sexually active, substance-using women living in shelters and low-income housing

Tucker, J. S. et al.(2005)  [abstract]

As part of a larger study, the authors investigated experiences of recent violence among sexually active, substance-using women. Structured interviews were conducted with 172 women living in shelters and low-income housing, 41 of whom also completed an in-depth interview on their worst violent episode.

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Tracking Alcohol Use in Women Who Move Through Domestic Violence Shelters: report to the British Columbia & Yukon Society of Transition Houses

British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (2004)

This report investigates the use of alcohol and other substances among women who entered refuges in British Columbia, Canada in 2002-2003.  It revealed how the women’s drinking and drug use reduced considerably during their stay in houses with varying substance misuse interventions.

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Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence: stories of practitioners that address the co-occurrence among battered women

Rogers, B. et al.(2003) [abstract]

This article describes how two different service programmes were developed to address the needs of survivors in the US who use substances. The article describes a philosophy for this work, how assessments are conducted, how women were identified for the program, and how services were designed.

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Alcohol Problems and Violence Against Women: Final Report

Downs, W. R. (2001)

Extensive overview of the overlapping issues of alcohol and violence against women.

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