Friday, December 26, 2014

Alcohol selling and intimate partner violence

Intimate partner violence (IPV), or domestic violence, is a serious social problem. In the UK, approximately one-third of the women have experienced victimization. Even in Japan as the most safe country in the world, the proportion is one-fourth.

My past entry: A 30% experiences domestic violence in England and Japan

On the other hand, it is widely accepted that alcohol consumption sometimes induce violence. There is a stereotype that Husband with alcohol dependence beats his wife. To reduce the risk for incident, the government regulates alcohol selling by time and/or region in many countries.

Recently, an academic article was published investigating the relationship between alcohol selling policy and IPV.

Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs: The Role of Alcohol Policies in Preventing Intimate Partner Violence: A Review of the Literature

The authors have not conduct their own survey. They gathered previous publication regarding this issue, to conclude that the outlet of alcohol density was the only factor associated with the rate of IPV. Pricing policies and restricting hours were not proven to contribute to reduction of IPV.

This is only a systematic review, without any statistical analysis. Publication bias cannot be denied. In addition, causal relationship has not been proven in each cross-sectional study, as the authors described. Perhaps, citizens living in the area in which many licensed alcohol stores are opened were occasionally a little aggressive.

Rather, it is interesting that neither time restriction nor taxation policies seem not to be associated to IPV. Maybe they contribute the whole incidents relevant to alcohol consumption.

It is difficult to estimate the effect of a certain policy in the society, even though some policies are enforced at sudden by a few loud politicians. Decision making is their task. But scientists should be more engaged in social policy through showing evidence about the prediction and outcome of each strategy.

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