More than 70% of reported cases of personal violence involve alcohol and/or drug abuse. Drugs and alcohol alter the personality or temperament of the abuser in such ways as extreme irritability, moodiness, impaired judgement and paranoia, which trigger conflict and violence that may not have otherwise surfaced.
All types of mental, emotional and physical abuse are evident at every age level, ranging from infancy to the elderly. These abuses are often caused by the use of alcohol and drugs. Sexual abuse (any act of indecent sexual activity ranging from sexual exposure to rape and incest) is linked to the use of alcohol and drugs as is self-inflicted violence (self-destructive acts and suicide).
Many instances of children, women and men being abused by family members go unreported. Because law enforcement and other authorities do not receive all the reports of domestic violence. It can only be estimated that 30% to 50% of all acts of violence occur in the home.
Reasons for unreported instances of personal abuse are:
- Fear of further violence
- Fear of humiliation
- Insufficient or unknown sources of help
- Personal guilt
- Fear of ridicule