Correlations between violence & addiction: cases of abused women

Maria Petalia

Sociologist, MSc Criminal Law and Addictions, Social scientist at the Programme “Accommodation and Services to Asylum Seekers in Greece” of NGO Praksis.

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Female abuse is a critical social problem, which is the embodiment of gendered violence. The substance use and the addictive behaviours, on the other hand, are considered to be a difficulty to both the lives of the addicts and their families and the rest of the society. As the use of psychotropic substances affects the thymic, an attempt is made in order to investigate its connection with abuse.
The assumption that there is a correlation between the physical abuse and the substance use, as well as an attempt to understand this phenomenon, is embarked upon a qualitative research, in particular, a cases study. Specifically, an analysis is made of cases drawn from the archive material of the Consultative Center of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality at Sintagma, Athens, which includes cases of female victims of violence, who have contacted the Consultative Center seeking for help, the perpetrators of whom have a direct or indirect relationship with the use of psychotropic substances. The conclusion is that the substance use, whether it is regarding drugs or alcohol, may, potentially, contribute to violent behaviours.

Keywords: (female) abuse, violence, addiction, psychotropic substances, drugs, alcohol, gambling

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