Objective The association between alcohol consumption and intimate partner violence (IPV) is well known in developed Western countries, but not in developing and Eastern countries. This study examines the relationship with IPV of different patterns of alcohol consumption across wet and dry alcohol culture communities.
Methods The World Studies of Abuse in Family Environment conducted parallel population-based surveys of family violence, and studied 12 804 women in low and middle income communities between 1998 and 2003. Ever drinking, regular drinking, drinking to get drunk by the husband or partner was studied in communities of Brazil, Chile, India and the Philippines. Logistic regression models were fitted to examine their relationship with concurrent psychological and physical violence.
Results Ever drinking ranged from 22% in India to 88% in Chile, while reported drunkenness ranged from 1% in Chile to 16% in India. Women perceived that their husband/partner would insult them (12%–98%) and hit/beat them (1%–98%) when their partners were under the influence of alcohol. A clear dose-response relationship was observed between physical violence and alcohol consumption. The estimated odds (95% CI) of physical violence in regular drinkers compared to teetotallers were 3.8 (1.3 to 11.3) in Brazil, 4.5 (0.7 to 29.7) in Chile and 4.7 (1.6 to 13.8) in the Philippines. In India, these were 9.4 (7.4 to 11.9) in urban-slums, 6.7 (5.4 to 8.3) in non-slums and 6.6 (4.9 to 9.1) in rural areas.
Conclusions This study found strong relationships between alcohol consumption and IPV in selected communities from developing countries. This relationship was seen in communities with different drinking cultures, with varying violence severity.
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