Domestic Violence & Compulsive Gambling. There is No Exc

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Domestic Violence & Compulsive Gambling. There is No Exc

Post by AJFCS » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 pm

Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Service spent much of February with a focus on Domestic Violence prevention, awareness and advocacy. What we noticed were some alarming statistics around the relationship between compuslive gambling and instances of domestic abuse.

Some of the text below is from Ronald A. Reno, addiction specialist:

The tragedy of gambling addiction reaches far beyond the more than 15 million Americans who are problem or pathological gamblers. Employers, work associates, friends, and taxpayers often pay a steep price as well. However, it is family members who bear the brunt of the pain and misery that accompanies this addiction. In addition to material deprivations, family members frequently experience the trauma of divorce, child abuse and neglect, and domestic violence.

Child abuse and neglect
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission reported: "Children of compulsive gamblers are often prone to suffer abuse, as well as neglect, as a result of parental problem or pathological gambling."

In Indiana, a review of the state's gaming commission records revealed that 72 children were found abandoned on casino premises during a 14-month period.

Children have died as a direct result of adult gambling problems. In Louisiana and South Carolina, children died after being locked in hot cars for hours while their caretakers gambled. An Illinois mother was sentenced to prison for suffocating her infant daughter in order to collect insurance money to continue gambling.

Cases of child abandonment at Foxwoods, the nation's largest casino in Ledyard, Conn., became so commonplace that authorities were forced to post signs in the casino's parking lots warning parents not to leave children in cars unattended.

Domestic violence
According to the National Research Council, studies indicate that between one quarter and one half of spouses of compulsive gamblers have been abused.

Case studies of 10 casino communities conducted for the National Gambling Impact Study Commission revealed that the majority of those communities witnessed increases in domestic violence relative to the introduction of casinos.

Domestic violence shelters on Mississippi's Gulf Coast reported increases in requests for assistance ranging from 100 to 300 percent after the introduction of casinos.

A University of Nebraska Medical Center study concluded that problem gambling is as much a risk factor for domestic violence as alcohol abuse.

Domestic violence murders in at least 11 states have been traced to gambling problems since 1996.

Our symposium, "Educate, Advocate, Navigate" brought together a panel of experts including Rabbi Diana Manber; New York Board of Rabbis, Dr. Elaine Rotenberg; Clinical Director at Alpert Jewish Family & Children's Sercice, Tana Sachs Copple, a family law attorney from the firm Maynor Sachs Copple, and Detective Dale Fox, from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office. In many instances, cases of abuse had financial ties and could be linked to gambling problems within the family.

It is critically important that we continue to advocate for healthier, stronger families to end both the cycle of abuse, and the risks of problem gambling occuring within the family.

AJFCS will be hosting its Sixth Annual No Excuse for Abuse Luncheon, which amongst other things, will help shed a light on the correlation between problem gambling and domestic violence.

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