The Link Between Gambling Addiction and Domestic Violence (And How to Find Help)

Compulsive gambling is not a money problem, and it’s not a gambler’s problem—it’s a family problem. And in some families, the addiction creates an unsafe environment for the gambler’s partner. People with problem gambling live in a tense world, in which arguments and disagreements can too quickly turn into physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a significant other.

Statistics on the gambling addiction/domestic violence link

Mental health professionals and researchers have long understood that gambling addiction raises the risk for dysfunction within the family—and that includes a heightened risk of violence. Check out these domestic violence/gambling problem statistics:

  • Women with partners who were problem gamblers had a higher risk of intimate partner violence than those with non-problem gambling partners. (NIH Library of Medicine)
  • Having a partner with pathological gambling (the most serious form of gambling addiction) increased the risk of both dating violence and severe marital violence. Not surprisingly, this study of more than 3,300 people also linked compulsive gambling to a higher risk of severe child abuse. (NIH Library of Medicine)
  • More than 80% of women with spouses who were violent against them reported the partner had at least one “bad” habit like alcohol abuse or problem gambling. (NIH Library of Medicine)
  • About 65% of problem gamblers in one study reported they had committed domestic violence or had been the victim of it in the previous year—25% reported committing severe intimate partner violence. (NIH Library of Medicine)
  • Of men court-ordered to take domestic violence perpetrator intervention programs, 9% met criteria for pathological gambling and 17% showed problem gambling behavior—both numbers higher than rates for the general population. (NIH Library of Medicine)

If you’re being abused, reach out for help.

It’s critical that you find assistance for yourself as well as those (like children or aging parents) who cannot help themselves. You deserve physically- and emotionally-safe relationships and environments. Don’t wait to see if your partner will stop gambling or stop being abusive. Don’t wait until the situation gets worse. Find help now.

Call Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County at 717-299-1249 (collect calls accepted) or Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County at 1-866-686-0451. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

For information on compulsive gambling help resources in Lancaster or Lebanon, contact Compass Mark by calling (717) 299-2831 or by using our website’s help form.

Are you a counselor or health professional?

If you need to locate problem gambling resources to help a client or patient, contact Compass Mark. Our team offers confidential guidance for professionals in Lebanon and Lancaster, PA. We also offer problem gambling training; see Training & Events for info on upcoming sessions. Call (717) 299-2831.

Be Sociable, Share!

One thought on “The Link Between Gambling Addiction and Domestic Violence (And How to Find Help)

  1. Hola! I’ve been reading your weblog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!