Here in Nevada, gambling is a pastime for many people -- natives and tourists alike. For too many people, however, it's an addiction. Like all addictions, it's often a problem that impacts the whole family.
A study by the National Institutes of Health found that 80 percent of people who reported being the victims of domestic violence by their partner said that the partner had a problem such as compulsive gambling or alcohol abuse. Mental health professionals note that with the increased family and relationship dysfunction created by the gambling addiction and the financial stresses that can often come with it, the chance of domestic violence rises.
The NIH study of over 3,000 people found some troubling statistics related to problem gambling and domestic violence. These statistics involve not just the spouses and partners of these gamblers, but their children as well. Both were found to be at greater risk of severe domestic violence by the gambler.
Women with a significant other with a gambling problem were more likely to be victims of violence at the hands of those partners than those with partners without a gambling problem. A quarter of problem gamblers reported that they had been violent towards their partner.
Seventeen percent of men who were ordered by the court to take part in a domestic violence intervention program were problem gamblers, while 9 percent qualified as "pathological" gamblers. Those are both higher than the national rates.
This is just one more reason why anyone for whom gambling has become a problem in his or her life should seek help. There are support groups throughout Nevada and across the country.
If you are already facing domestic violence charges, you may be able to mitigate the impact on your criminal record and your life by going into a treatment program. A Nevada criminal defense attorney can provide guidance on your options.
Source: Safe Stakes, "The Link Between Gambling Addiction and Domestic Violence (And How to Find Help)," accessed Oct. 08, 2015