The Truth About Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence
By Michelle Peterson of Recovery Pride (RecoveryPride.org)
Domestic violence and powerAs defined by the Department of Justice, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It is a common misconception that those who abuse their partners are always heavily intoxicated at the time of battery and they are totally out of control. However, intimate partner violence is a choice, and many times the batterer chooses to assault their partner in an environment that is safe for them, such as at home or out of the public’s eye. Because a batterer’s
The role of substance abuseThe common denominator among domestic violence cases is the use of drugs and alcohol by one or both participants. It is widely assumed that the one inflicting violence is the one battling substance addiction, however many victims are substance abusers themselves because they turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope. When this is the case, the abusive situation becomes even more dangerous. Female abuse victims are 15 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 9 times more likely to abuse drugs than women who have not been subjected to domestic violence. When under the influence, the victim may be unable to escape the attacker or accurately assess the amount of danger they are in. The use of substances may also thwart any attempts to leave the relationship and look for help because they fear they too may be arrested for criminal substance abuse.
Those battling with domestic violence and substance abuse are undoubtedly in a hard place. It is difficult for both parties