Intimate Partner Violence, Unhealthy Alcohol Use, and Housing Instability Among Women Veterans in the Veterans Health Administration

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Abstract

Women U.S. military veterans face particularly high rates of homelessness, which may be associated with psychosocial experiences including unhealthy alcohol use and experience of intimate partner violence (IPV). In this study, we examined clinical social health screening data to assess the association between housing instability and (a) experience of past-year IPV victimization, and (b) unhealthy alcohol use among 554 women receiving primary care from the Veterans Health Administration. Approximately 12% of patients screened reported housing instability. Experience of past-year IPV was associated with increased risk of housing instability (OR = 2.10, 95% CI [1.16, 3.81]), with 1 in 5 women screening positive for IPV also reporting housing concern. There was no statistically significant association between current unhealthy alcohol use and housing instability. Findings hold implications for addressing potential housing concerns among women VA patients.

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