University of Sussex Media Release.

7 December l998
For immediate release

Around 60% to 70% of men who assault their partners are under the influence of alcohol, according to a new report published today by Alcohol Concern.

The report which examines the link between substance misuse and domestic violence, has been produced by John Jacobs, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of Sussex. It comes against a background where one woman is murdered every three days by a violent partner or ex-partner.

Its findings include a call for greater co-operation between agencies tackling domestic violence and substance misuse, to prevent women falling through the net, and an examination of the impact of programmes designed to work with violent men.

According to John Jacobs, "There is a growing consensus that what is needed is a co-ordinated response from all agencies when dealing with domestic violence. Without it, responses are not only likely to be piecemeal but are likely to overlook the issue altogether.

"There is a general tendency for nearly all agencies to avoid confronting menís violent behaviour, unless they are part of a community where a great deal of work has been done to ensure that male violence is given a high profile."

Mary Ann McKibben, Assistant Director of Alcohol Concern report comments, "This is an extremely valuable piece of work, because it brings together all the relevant literature linking domestic violence and substance misuse - and highlights where action could be taken in the best interests of the women affected.

"We shall be calling on MPs to follow up this report by helping us to ensure that a more co-ordinated approach is taken to this very worrying problem."

The report states that less is known about the connection between drugs and domestic violence - but that up to 20% of men are reckoned to be under the influence of drugs other than alcohol when they attack their partners.

John Jacobs will be presenting his report to MPs and Peers at the meeting of all Party Parliamentary Group on Alcohol Misuse today, Monday 7 December.

For further information contact Sue Yates, Information Officer, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678384, Fax 01273 678335, email or John Jacobs on 01273 678240

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