A large percentage (nearly 80 %) of reported domestic violence crimes involve drugs and alcohol. Domestic violence is a rather broad term for a lot of different types of aggressive behaviors and actions and can affect both men and women.
On average, nearly 20 people every minute in the U.S. are physically abused by an intimate partner. During the course of just one year, this number equates to more than 10 million people.vOn a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
Also, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
What is Domestic Violence?
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic abuse or domestic violence “is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.”
Domestic violence does not always constitute physical violence – it can encompass various other types of harm to overpower an individual and keep his or her in constant fear. and under control.
It is extremely difficult and often terrifying to be in a toxic, abusive relationship. There are a lot of different types of abuse between partners, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Psycho-emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Verbal abuse
A Case Study
Michelle was a woman in her 30’s who had been with the same man, Allen, for ten years. Michelle’s friends often noticed that Allen would verbally abuse her, call her names, and manipulate her through deception and sympathy. This behavior increased when he was drinking heavily, which he often did on the weekends.
Although this abuse was obvious to everyone who knew her, Michelle insisted that other people didn’t see the times when Allen was good to her.
One of the elements of this story that is particularly unsettling is that Michelle refused to acknowledge what was right in front of her, while those who loved her were forced to watch her suffer in silence.
Desensitization to Actions
As time goes on, a person who is the victim of abuse can become desensitized to actions and behaviors that are not healthy or normal. However, being controlled or manipulated by a partner is abuse, and some partners will try to intimidate or threaten the other to maintain control.
People in these situations need to understand that domestic violence takes many forms, and growing accustomed to the treatment is not the same thing as making the problem go away. Becoming desensitized to abuse is very risky, and can lead to an escalation of the problem as the victim fails to grasp the full extent of the danger in which he or she is facing.
The Role of Substance Abuse and Addiction
When an addiction to substances is associated with domestic violence, it can escalate and become increasingly dangerous. Indeed, substance abuse has a strong link to domestic violence and can fuel it or become a product of it.
When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, his or her brain has essentially been rewired. Seeking out that substance becomes the priority regardless of adverse consequences that may occur. In a relationship, one partner may use the other to enable their addiction, and the person being abused may begin to use themselves.
When someone is intoxicated, he or she will not act or think rationally, and this can foster an extremely dangerous situation. Addiction and domestic violence share quite a few characteristics, including 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 tend to get worse over time.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you are suffering from addiction, you should seek professional help as soon as possible. For victims of domestic violence, rehab can offer a safe place and reprieve from abuse. But whether you are the abuser or the victim, addressing your addiction is one of the first places you need 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.
Treatment for addiction and domestic violence also share several characteristics, such as addressing feelings of shame, denial, and guilt. Both addiction and domestic violence do damage to a person’s self-esteem and image. Again, whether the abuser or victim, a lack of self-worth can be a significant part of the problem, and treatment can help turn this situation around for the better.
Please know that there are people ready and willing to help you or a loved one. If someone you know is in a dangerous or abusive situation, please be supportive and non-judgmental. Encourage them to reach out to those who can offer professional help and guidance.
Just Believe Recovery is a specialized addiction treatment center that offers comprehensive, individualized programs. Our approach to treatment is intended to provide clients with tools and support they need to navigate the recovery process and sustain long-term happiness and sobriety.
If you are ready to reclaim your life, free from addiction, contact us today!