Substance Use, Domestic Violence and Latinos and Latinas: Examining the Intersections

Between 20% and 25% of Latinas will experience domestic violence (DV) during their lifetime, and 1 in 20 in the previous 12 months. Immigrant women (including Latinas) who are married are more likely to experience DV than unmarried women. A study that included 2,000 Latinas found 63.1% of women identified being victimized in their lifetime.

Although recent research shows a strong relationship between intimate partner violence and greater frequency of alcohol intoxication, the overall evidence regarding whether a woman’s alcohol use increases her likelihood of experiencing intimate partner violence has been described as “weak”. Experiences of interpersonal violence, the stress of living in a new country with different cultural norms and language, discrimination, socioeconomic pressures, loss of social support mechanisms upon immigration, and exposure to drugs and alcohol often lead to chemical use and dependency. Trauma is often the common thread running through a variety of co-occurring issues, ranging from mental health disabilities to substance abuse, poverty, and exploitation resulting from the sex industry, homelessness and incarceration.

Population of focus: Hispanic or Latino

Links to resource:

Date: 2015

Organization: National Hispanic and Latino Addiction Technology Transfer Center