Aggressive behaviour among drug-using women from Cape Town, South Africa: ethnicity, heavy alcohol use, methamphetamine and intimate partner violence

Article

Focus Areas: Health & Wellness Ending Gender Violence

BACKGROUND: Women have generally been found to be the victims of violence, but scant attention has been paid to the characteristics of women who perpetrate aggression and violence. In South Africa, violence is a prevalent societal issue, especially in the Western Cape.

METHOD: This study aimed at identifying factors that were associated with aggression among a sample of 720 substance-using women. We conducted multivariate logistic regression to identify factors that are significantly associated with these behaviours.

RESULTS: Ethnicity (Wald Chi(2) = 17.07(2), p < 0.01) and heavy drinking (Wald Chi(2) = 6.60 (2), p = 0.01) were significantly related to verbal aggression, methamphetamine use was significantly related to physical (Wald Chi(2) = 2.73 (2), p = 0.01) and weapon aggression (Wald Chi(2) = 7.94 (2), p < 0.01) and intimate partner violence was significantly related to verbal (Wald Chi(2) = 12.43 (2), p < 0.01) and physical aggression (Wald Chi(2) = 25.92 (2), p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: The findings show high levels of aggression among this sample, and highlight the need for interventions that address methamphetamine, heavy drinking and intimate partner violence among vulnerable substance-using women.

Carney, T., B. Myers, T. L. Kline, K. Johnson and W. M. Wechsberg (2017). "Aggressive behaviour among drug-using women from Cape Town, South Africa: ethnicity, heavy alcohol use, methamphetamine and intimate partner violence." BMC Womens Health 17(1): 93.

Experts

Wendee Wechsberg

“We must listen to the communities, the local people, to understand culturally what is going to fit and what is going to be the language of the research, and not just say we know what to do here.”