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Marijuana use reduces risk of domestic violence, rates still high

Past research into couples' relationships has shown that substance abuse issues often increase the risk of domestic violence in the home. However, fresh-off-the-presses research shows that marijuana bucks this trend; couples who light up tend to actually experience lower rates of domestic violence. The study, which used mail-in surveys over a nine-year span, determined that marijuana use was a determining factor in lowering rates of intimate partner violence.

Experts say they are still not entirely sure why marijuana users returned lower rates of domestic violence. Fewer incidents of IPV, including hitting, choking, slapping and beating occurred each year among couples who used marijuana. That protective effect was multiplied for those couples who both tended to frequently use marijuana.

Still, domestic violence continues to be an issue among all populations. The study in this case recruited more than 600 couples in New York State as they were applying for their marriage license. The couples were followed for nearly a decade, with surveys sent out periodically. For the entire group, a shocking statistic emerged: 37.1 percent of husbands engaged in domestic violence in the first year of marriage alone.

Those Florida residents who are suffering from a domestic violence situation should know that they have options. These can include a protective order, which provides a legal barrier against continued domestic violence. Victims may be eligible for a permanent protective order designed to offer long-term assistance and promote family safety. Further, evidence of domestic violence can play a key role in family law matters such as child custody disputes.

Whether you have suffered from domestic violence -- or you are accused of perpetrating such IPV -- you may need to consult an attorney to learn more about your legal options. Domestic violence and other unsavory family issues often come to light in the midst of a divorce. Learning how to address family concerns through the legal system is a critical step for anyone allegedly involved in IPV.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Marijuana Use Lowers Risk Of Domestic Violence In Married Couples, Study Finds" Taryn Hillin, Aug. 25, 2014

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