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Is alcohol the biggest cause of domestic violence?

Some people believe that the use of either alcohol or other drugs is one of the biggest reasons that domestic violence takes place. The idea here is that violence is more likely when the abuser has been drinking, or that someone who may not have been violent on a normal basis can turn violent after drinking.

While this certainly can be true in some situations, the thought that drinking is one of the biggest causes of violence is a myth. The relationship between the two things is far more complicated than that.

Some people have even speculated that those who become abusive could deliberately use alcohol to have an excuse. These individuals can then apologize after the event and say that it was because of the alcohol, when they really were prone to becoming violent on their own.

These experts point out that the point of domestic violence is often just one person trying to show the other person who is in control. It is a way for the abuser to force the person being harmed into submission. In this way, it does not stem only from a loss of control—as the myth about alcohol use would suggest—and is far more of a deliberate action.

That's not to say that alcohol or drugs can't play a role, but the fact of the matter is that most people who commit these acts of violence have had very little to drink—just two drinks or less, according to a study carried out back in 1991. That suggests that the people are not so drunk that they are not in control of their actions.

Those who are accused of domestic violence in Colorado Springs have the right to a fair trial.

Source: UMN, "Alcohol and Domestic Violence," Larry W. Bennett, accessed Dec. 31, 2015

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