Many cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) involve substance abuse by the perpetrator, and a relatively large number of clients who enter treatment for substance use disorders have reported violence against their partners in the past year. Among this group, treatment can help stop such partner abuse. This is one of the conclusions of researcher Fleur Kraanen, who will receive her PhD from the University of Amsterdam on Thursday, 3 April.
Kraanen's research shows that treatment can be effective for people who have a substance use disorder and abuse their partners. At the end of the treatment, those who completed it in full had (completely) stopped physically abusing their partner. Moreover, studies on substance abuse services have shown that a combination of substance use disorder treatment and a short intervention targeting the partner abuse was able to substantially reduce this kind of violence. 'This is a fantastic result. To date, there are no evidence-based treatments for people who abuse their partners, so this marks a step in the right direction', Kraanen explains.
Her research also led to the compilation of a brief questionnaire that can be used by substance abuse services to identify offenders and victims of partner abuse in an early stage of care.
Substance abuse is common among delinquents, and many offences are committed under the influence of intoxicants. Particularly a mix of alcohol and cannabis and/or cocaine use increases the likelihood of violence against a partner.
As many offenders who have been convicted slide back into their old behaviour, it is crucial to focus on ways to prevent such recidivism. Risk factors connected with recidivism need to be identified so that effective treatments can be developed for the offenders. One of the most important of these risk factors is (excessive) use of substances. Kraanen investigated this use among perpetrators of partner abuse, general violence and sexual offences. The research was conducted at the Waag forensic outpatient clinic and the Jellinek outpatient clinic for substance abuse services.
Fleur Kraanen: When Things are Getting out of Hand: Prevalence, Assessment, and Treatment of Substance Use Disorder(s) and Violent Behavior. Supervisor: Prof. P.M.G. Emmelkamp. Co-supervisors: H.A. Scholing and Dr E. Vedel.
The PhD thesis defence ceremony will take place on Monday, 3 April, at 10:00.
Location: Agnietenkapel, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231, Amsterdam.