The Scotia Project: roles of alcohol in intimate partner violence (IPV)

Elizabeth Gilchrist, Lana Ireland

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Objectives: The Scotia Project aims to investigate victim and perpetrator experiences around alcohol and IPV, and how alcohol may impact on coercive control within IPV relationships. The project seeks to establish the extent to which existent policies and programmes are working for victims and perpetrators of IPV, and how we might incorporate problematic alcohol use into these.
Design: Mixed-methods design, incorporating statistical analysis of Strathclyde Police’s databases (2004-2012); existent questionnaires (AUDIT; CTS2: ARAQ); and semi-structured interviews. Police database analysis and questionnaires will provide quantification of problematic alcohol use, severity of experiences around IPV, and levels of links between alcohol and IPV. Interviews will explore social constructions of alcohol use and domestic abuse, and subjective personal experiences of the co-morbidity of alcohol and IPV.
Method: Recruitment of n=120 participants is being conducted across three nominal categories: ‘Convicted’ (critical experiences of IPV, recruited via prisons and victims’ services), ‘Conflicted’ (pre-critical experiences of IPV, recruited via couples’ counselling services), and ‘Content’ (non-critical experiences of IPV, recruited through general population). Forty participants are being recruited to each category to complete questionnaires, with n=10 from each category being retained for qualitative interview.
Results: Statistical trends from police IPV data will be discussed, alongside practical and ethical issues in researching such problematic populations.
Conclusions: Current service provision may underestimate the extent to which victims of IPV utilise alcohol for coping purposes. Intervention programmes tend to be focused on either alcohol or IPV. Multi-agency working provides the greatest assistance to victims and families involved in IPV.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2013


  • intimate partner violence
  • risk
  • substance misuse
  • re-offending
  • Scotia Project


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