Domestic Violence is a highly pervasive issue. Did you know that in the United States, almost 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner each minute? Over the course of a year, that adds up to more than 10 million women and men who suffer in their own homes. In Florida, 34.2% of women and 24.6% of men experience dating violence, sexual violence and/or stalking in their lifetimes.
Did you know that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month? Like gambling addiction, domestic violence does not discriminate based on sex, race, religion, culture, or societal status. It’s important to recognize that women AND men can be victims, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men nationally having experienced some form of domestic physical violence.1
Domestic abuse, which includes domestic violence, also includes psychological abuse and economic abuse: verbal harassment, public humiliation and shaming, manipulation, withholding access to money, and stalking, to name a few. Though these forms of abuse may not leave bruises, they can have enormous negative impacts on one’s life. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.
When Domestic Abuse is a Result of Gambling Addiction
Though not commonly thought of together, disordered gambling has real and severe impacts on those closest to the gambler, up to and including domestic violence. Loved ones of those who have fallen victim to gambling addiction often report a range of effects from the deprivation of basic needs, to physical, emotional, and psychological abuse – in other words, domestic abuse.
On the other hand, those suffering from domestic abuse may themselves become disordered gamblers, turning to gambling as a way to “escape” from the stress and fear that permeates their relationship and home life. Gambling to escape is a telltale sign of disordered gambling.
Unfortunately, the effects of gambling disorder and domestic abuse invariably have profound impacts on any children in the household. Kids who grow up in these circumstances are more likely than their peers to suffer from emotional issues such as anxiety and depression, abuse alcohol or other drugs, develop gambling problems of their own, and even experience suicidal ideation.
Help and hope are available. The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) operates the state’s 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848). The HelpLine offers powerful resources and supports for those suffering from gambling addiction and their loved ones. The Florida Council has also developed a wide range of programs to serve diverse parts of the population, from impaired professionals to families, youth, seniors, Spanish speakers, and much more, which can be accessed through the HelpLine.
 What Is Domestic Violence? National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 2019, assets.speakcdn.com/assets/2497/domestic_violence2.pdf.
 Domestic Violence in Florida. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 2019, assets.speakcdn.com/assets/2497/florida_2019.pdf.
 “What Is Domestic Violence?” The National Domestic Violence Hotline, www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/.