Women's perspectives : the role of alcohol in violence against women
The primary objective of this research was to understand what role women thought alcohol played in their partners' violence to them, from the perspective of women who experienced violence from men partners. It aimed to: 1) question whether women blamed alcohol for their partners' violence, as anecdotal claims suggest, 2) establish whether the women made allowances for their partners' violence because of their partners' drinking, 3) determine the extent to which the women believed alcohol played a key role in such violence, 4) explore any differences in the women's beliefs about alcohol's role in violence when it was directed at others, and when it was directed at them, 5) develop theory, grounded in the women's views, that offers an explanation for alcohol's role in the violence they experienced. In order to meet these aims, in-depth, semi-structured, interviews were conducted with 20 women who suffered violence or abuse from their partners. Due to the subject of this research and the absence of women's views in research on this subject, a grounded theory approach was used, located within a feminist research framework. In addition, the women completed a supplementary checklist relating to their alcohol use and their violent and abusive experiences. The key findings include the women's beliefs that: 1) alcohol has an impact on behaviour, often seen in extremes of behaviour, 2) alcohol's role in violence depends on many factors, 3) alcohol is not responsible for their partners' violence and, 4) they would not forgive their partners more easily if they were violent after drinking. The quantitative data demonstrated a significant increase in physical violence after their partners had been drinking. The main conclusion of this study is that while the women accept that alcohol has disinhibiting effects, they do not blame alcohol for their partners' violence and abuse. They hold their partners responsible for their behaviour regardless of the alcohol consumed.