In an effort to understand the link between problem gambling and domestic abuse, the Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey has launched a study centered on an nine-question survey.
According to a press release from the CCGNJ, domestic abuse is just one of several side effects of problem gambling, or, as the organization calls it, disordered gambling.
“The questions are designed to deepen the Council’s understanding of how gambling and domestic violence are interrelated,” the release said. “Disordered gambling, often referred to as a hidden addiction, is a problem that many sufferers find difficulty seeking help for due to its social stigma.”
The Questions: Gambling, drugs, alcohol, abuse
The survey’s questions are straightforward — they focus on the person taking the survey, as well as his or her spouse, significant other or loved ones.
The brief list of questions includes:
- Have you ever gambled as a form of escape from violence, abuse or worry?
- Have you ever used drugs or alcohol to deal with violence, abuse or worry?
- Does your spouse or significant other become angry, annoyed or irritable when you discuss household financial topics?
The survey also asks about the subject’s gender and age.
Findings to supplement information on council’s website
The CCGNJ said they believe the information gathered will help them fine tune the services they offer through their website, www.800gambler.org.
“By releasing the survey, the Council hopes to garner information that will improve its services to problem gamblers and their loved ones,” the press release said
Currently, the gambling-domestic violence information on the council’s website dates back to 2002 and beyond.
The information is printed on a single-page PDF. Some of the pertinent statistics include:
- Twenty to 50 percent of spouses of compulsive gamblers have been abused.
- A 1993 study revealed that, of 144 spouses of compulsive gamblers, 50 percent were physically abused and 12 percent had attempted suicide.
- A 2000 showed that problem gambling was as much as a risk for domestic violence as alcohol abuse.
- A study from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s emergency room showed that the likelihood of “intimate partner violence” increased nearly 11 times when a partner was a problem gambler.
Links between abuse and gambling need more research
The CCGNJ’s press release indicates that it would like to gather more data about the link between gambling and domestic abuse.
Doing so would help organizations like the University of Nebraska Medical Center know how to better treat victims of gambling-related domestic violence as well as the perpetrators.
The abstract of the university’s emergency room study concluded with the following observation:
“The causes of IPV (intimate partner violence) are not fully known, but the association of problem gambling in the partner with IPV could lead to new intervention strategies and Emergency Medicine research in the future,” the study read.