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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Domestic Violence and Alcohol (Guest Post)

Hello Readers and Fellow Advocates,

Today, I have another Guest Post. I am excited about this one and this is a topic that is dear to me but that I have not written about here.  Melissa actually takes a turn with this one because she is not talking about the batterers and alcoholism but rather how the person that is being abused uses alcoholism as a coping mechanism.

This guest post comes from Mrs. Melissa Kluska. Here is a little about Melissa:

Melissa currently writes for organizations such as St Jude Retreats, an alternative solution to traditional alcohol and drug rehab. As well as writing for St. Jude’s, Melissa also enjoys writing pieces that will help others on topics like health and relationships.




2 million. The amount of injuries associated with domestic violence each year, and 84% of these domestic violence victims are women.[1] Some victims of domestic abuse have stayed in an abusive relationship for years while others have been close to near death experiences due to domestic violence cases. Regardless the situation, ending an abusive relationship results in a lengthy emotional healing process. No matter what the sex of the victim is, all men and women go through the same feelings of depression, freedom, guilt and happiness, and the journey after an abusive relationship can be like a roller coaster ride.

While it has been reported by the Women's Aid Organization that "women experiencing domestic violence are up to 15 times more likely to misuse alcohol than women generally", the end result of abuse does not have to leave the person turning to alcohol or in some cases prescription drugs to mask the deep emotional hurt. There are some alternative ways to deal with this hard time without resorting to substance abuse.

Support meetings for domestic violence are probably one of the best things for the person who has been abused. Often victims of abuse, especially women, shut down completely and try to remain as low key as possible. In support groups, women or men can meet others who have been through similar situations and form friendships and connections. It's very important for abuse victims to reach out to family and friends in this time of need, as they will need the support to start over their life, which can be scary process.

Another way to deal with this period of emotions is to find new means of happiness. After dealing with a traumatic event, it is beneficial to channel feelings of depression, anger, or hurt through a productive new habit or activity. These activities can include almost anything and everything that will bring the person happiness and security. Such activities can be crafting, painting, writing, exercising, or a new fitness class. It is important that the person sets achievable goals for themselves so they not only increase their self-esteem but so they have a feeling of accomplishment. A daily physical fitness routine is also a great way to reduce stress and increase feel good endorphins in the body which can help counteract feelings of sadness or depression.

While some people may believe going to the bar or drinking away their problems will help, turning to alcohol will be counterproductive and can create more dangerous situations.
After a few months, domestic abuse victim may feel the need to share his or her story, turning the experience of overcoming a traumatic time into a true hero story to help others in the same situation. It may be extremely hard for someone to take this on at the beginning but over time, a feeling of pride and joy will emerge just knowing that other people are being inspired by the story and it could help one more person leave an abusive relationship. In many ways, speaking out about a traumatic experience is a way of creating a new life, a day at a time.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, contact a victim hotline today.
And if you feel yourself or someone you know is misusing alcohol or drugs, there is a program that can help. St. Jude Retreats can provide you with the assistance you need, please visit www.soberforever.net to find out more.