A new study shows that alcohol increases the likelihood of violence among couples- both to and by the female partner.
According to researchers from University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas, while the chances of severe male-on-female violence tripled, severe female-on-male violence also more than doubled when the woman drank.
Study co-author Dr Raul Caetano said that severe partner violence was more than twice as likely when the woman drank alcohol.
Most studies of alcohol use and partner violence have looked only at male-on-female violence and many of the surveys rely on people who ended up in hospitals or the legal system, he said.
Women who are in a physically abusive relationship might be drinking as a form of self-medication, said Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Denver.
"It could be as much that factor as that they have an alcohol abuse problem. We don't know that," she added.
"The one thing that is important is that this is a random sample of couples in the U.S. When you go into general population, you pick up much more violence that is less severe and you see female involvement more clearly," added Caetano.
The study appears in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.