This qualitative study investigated the relationship between gambling and violence by men against their female intimate partners.

The study involved 116 interviews with:

  • women with lived experience of violence that was linked to their male partner’s gambling
  • women with lived experience of violence that was linked to their own gambling
  • men who had used gambling-related violence against a female partner
  • service providers from domestic and family violence services, gambling help, financial counselling and other allied services.

The study found that while gambling does not directly cause intimate partner violence, it reinforces the gendered drivers of violence to intensify the frequency and severity of intimate partner violence against women.

The study highlighted the prevalence of economic abuse among women experiencing gambling-related intimate partner violence. It also identified that gambling venues serve as safe spaces for women, and that in many areas there are few alternatives.

The study found that some service providers, as well as the community, lack awareness about the link between gambling and intimate partner violence. In terms of service delivery, screening and integrated service responses for both gambling problems and intimate partner violence were found to be limited.

The study further found that gambling-related harm (including economic abuse) is enabled by current protocols of gambling operators and financial institutions.

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ANROWS Research Report 21/2020