Domestic Violence and Addiction

Nearly 80 % of reported domestic violence crimes involve drugs and alcohol. That is a large percentage. Domestic violence is a broad term for a lot of different types of behaviors and actions. This affects both men and women. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

Domestic violence does not always constitute physical violence- it can encompass various other types of harm to overpower an individual and keep them in fear of the other. On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

It is extremely difficult to be in a toxic relationship. It can be scary. There are a lot of different types of abuse between partners.

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Psychological Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Verbal Abuse

As time goes on, you can become desensitized to actions and behaviors that no one should ever have to experience. One study found that women who experienced abuse in childhood were 6 times more likely to report adult physical or sexual violence, as compared to women who did not report experiencing abuse in childhood. No one should have to worry about physical violence- for any reason. But yet, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Being controlled by your partner is abuse. Some partners will try to intimidate or threaten the other to maintain control. When domestic violence is fueled by addiction to drugs or alcohol it can escalate and become more and more dangerous.

Substance abuse has a strong link to domestic violence. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain becomes rewired. Seeking out that substance becomes the priority regardless of any negative consequences that may occur. In a relationship, one partner may use the other to aid in their addiction. One partner may enable the other to keep using or start using themselves. When someone is inebriated they do not act or think rationally. It can be an extremely dangerous situation. Addiction and domestic violence share quite a few characteristics. A feeling of loss of control over your own life. Both addiction and domestic carry feelings of denial, shame, embarrassment, or guilt. Worst of all, both addiction and domestic violence will only get worse over time.

There is help for victims of domestic violence. Everyone deserves to live without fear. It can seem impossible to just get up and leave, but in most cases, it is the safest thing to do. If you are in a situation where you do have to leave the household, there are shelters dedicated to domestic violence victims. There are shelters for women and children. They may have a limited amount of time that you can stay, but they can help you find permanent housing. You are never stuck in your situation. There is always help. There is the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). It is anonymous and confidential help and available 24/7.

If you are suffering from addiction, go to rehab. Rehab can offer a safe place. This can be for both domestic violence and an addiction. Whether you are the abuser or the victim, addressing your addiction needs to be the first place to start. Addiction can keep you in dangerous situations regardless of how painful they may be. You lose control over your life when in the grips of addiction. Rehab can help you get off of drugs or alcohol, but it also helps you realize you deserve to be happy. Rehab can help you make that happen. Treatment for addiction and domestic violence also share certain characteristics, like treating feelings of shame, denial, guilt. Both addiction and domestic violence hurt a person’s self- worth and self- esteem. Again, whether the abuser or victim, your self- worth or lack thereof can be a huge part of the problem. Treatment can help you begin to rebuild your self-worth and self-esteem. Not treating any underlying problems only leaves you vulnerable to relapse, whether that relapse is going back to drugs and alcohol or going back to your abuser.

There are people ready and willing to help you. If someone you know is in a dangerous situation be supportive and non judgemental. Encourage them to talk to people that can provide professional help and guidance. Remind them that everyone deserves to feel safe and be happy.

Call these recovery specialists 800-723-7376. This could be the help you need. Call and find out!

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