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Fewer liquor shops could curb partner abuse

New York, Dec 10 (IANS) A new research suggests that laws limiting what is called “alcohol outlet density” could offer one way to address violence within intimate relationships.

The “alcohol outlet density” is calculated as the number of on-premise establishments such as bars and restaurants, and off-premise alcohol retailers, including liquor, grocery and convenience stores, divided by square mile or number of people living in a given area.

“Our findings suggest that local regulation of alcohol outlet density may be able to reduce rates of intimate partner violence within a community,” said Dennis Reidy, behavioural scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Reidy and his CDC colleagues dug into scientific literature to look for studies on the relationship between alcohol policies and partner violence.

The 16 studies they identified looked at the effects of alcohol outlet density, hours and days of sale, and pricing/taxation of alcoholic beverages.

On reviewing these studies, the investigators found that only one of those factors was consistently linked to rates of intimate partner violence: alcohol outlet density.

“And that link held even when we accounted for factors like the local poverty and unemployment rates,” Reidy said.

The research was published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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