The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in California

The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in California

Victims of intimate partner violence are more likely to report serious psychological distress, violence-related substance abuse, and need for mental health and/or substance abuse services, a report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds. According to The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in California (8 pages, PDF), 3.5 million Californians — 20.5 percent of women and 9.1 percent of men — have been victims of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence as adults. The report found that IPV victims were more than three times as likely as non-victims to experience anxiety, depression, or other psychological distress (16.8 percent vs. 5.3 percent), especially among recent victims (21.6 percent). They also were more likely to engage in binge drinking (39.0 percent vs. 34.2 percent), with more than half of recent victims (52.4 percent) reporting binge drinking in the past year, and to need mental health and/or substance abuse services (33.1 percent vs. 12.6 percent) — a need three times as prevalent among recent victims (39.9 percent). Funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the report recommends standard, routine screenings for intimate partner violence, emotional health, and substance abuse.