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Men, Substance Use and Relationships: A Bilateral Learning Alliance (England and Brazil)

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ES/K002589/1 and led by Dr Gail Gilchrist at the National Centre for Addictions, King's College London.




Although Intimate partner violence (IPV) (physical, sexual or psychological abuse) occurs in all countries, cultures and among all ethnic groups, our understanding of the role that cultural beliefs play in IPV perpetration is limited.

Men in substance misuse treatment are more likely to be violent towards their female partners than non-substance misusers. Despite this, few studies have examined IPV perpetration among substance misusers, and none have examined cross-cultural issues among male substance misusers who perpetrate IPV.

MenSubstanceUseandRelationshipsAlthough research suggests that 34-68% of men in substance misuse treatment have a history of IPV, many interventions for perpetrators do not address substance misuse and most substance misuse services do not screen for IPV. Integrating interventions for IPV into substance misuse treatment may improve the response to IPV among substance misusers.


Research Aims

The project will:

  • Quantitatively examine and compare the prevalence of IPV perpetration by males in substance misuse treatment in London and São Paulo.
  • Qualitatively examine and compare the cultural construction of IPV perpetration amongst men in substance misuse treatment in London and São Paulo.
  • Review current policies, treatment protocols and care pathways for male substance misusing perpetrators in both countries.
  • Interview policy and practice stakeholders to identify the barriers and facilitators to working with this client group in both countries.
  • Inform the development of an evidence and theory based cross-cultural capacity Framework for working effectively with male perpetrators in substance abuse treatment.

 Learning Alliance (LA)

An International Learning Alliance Steering Group of expert academics, practitioners and policy makers from England, Brazil, Spain and the US was established at the initiation of the project; to strengthen and support the exchange and dissemination of information, research, best practice and policy, and to determine how alcohol and drug services can best respond to IPV perpetration. In addition, local Learning Alliance networks of service users and providers, policy makers and academics have been established in both London and São Paulo to develop cross-sector solutions to this complex problem. Local Learning Alliances will enhance the possibility of mainstreaming the integration of IPV interventions to substance misuse treatment services by building on the knowledge transferred from this project into practice and thereby improving interventions for substance misusers who perpetrate IPV. The implementation of the Learning Alliance approach will be documented and evaluated.


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