BACKGROUND: Women have generally been found to be the victims of violence, but scant attention has been paid to the characteristics of women who perpetrate aggression and violence. In South Africa, violence is a prevalent societal issue, especially in the Western Cape.
METHOD: This study aimed at identifying factors that were associated with aggression among a sample of 720 substance-using women. We conducted multivariate logistic regression to identify factors that are significantly associated with these behaviours.
RESULTS: Ethnicity (Wald Χ(2) = 17.07(2), p < 0.01) and heavy drinking (Wald Χ(2) = 6.60 (2), p = 0.01) were significantly related to verbal aggression, methamphetamine use was significantly related to physical (Wald Χ(2) = 2.73 (2), p = 0.01) and weapon aggression (Wald Χ(2) = 7.94 (2), p < 0.01) and intimate partner violence was significantly related to verbal (Wald Χ(2) = 12.43 (2), p < 0.01) and physical aggression (Wald Χ(2) = 25.92 (2), p < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings show high levels of aggression among this sample, and highlight the need for interventions that address methamphetamine, heavy drinking and intimate partner violence among vulnerable substance-using women.