Each year, more than 10 million Americans experience abuse at the ends of a domestic partner at an average of 20 people per minute. Domestic violence and abuse occurs across all demographics in all relationship configurations; however, women are more likely to experience domestic violence and abuse than men.
One in three women and one in four men experience some form of physical violence perpetrated by a romantic partner. One in four women and one in 9 men will experience severe physical violence from a partner, such as slapping, pushing or shoving, and other use of force for intimidation or control. Abusers silence their victims, separating them from loved ones and using gaslighting and fear to keep them under control.
Drug and alcohol abuse is a common factor in domestic violence cases across the United States. Illicit substances are involved in 40 to 60 percent of domestic intimate partner violence. While this includes either or both parties, 20 percent of male perpetrators admitted to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. 50 percent of those in batterer intervention programs also have some form of substance addiction.
This is not to say all those who live with substance abuse disorders are abusive people. In fact, the majority are more likely to be victims of abuse, as addiction is often rooted in trauma. However, for those who become violent when under the influence, the risks to their partners and children is evident.
Domestic Violence Isn’t Always Physical
Many question why some people stay in violent or abusive relationships despite the evident danger. Fear, shame, and hope for changed behavior can contribute to the complicated issue. It can be difficult to walk away, especially when living in the gray area of domestic violence.
Domestic violence isn’t always black eyes, split lips, and broken bones. Behavioral issues that fall under the category of domestic violence and abuse include:
- Throwing or breaking items around the house
- Punching and kicking walls or doors
- Slammed doors as an intimidation tactic
- Restricted movement; inability to leave at will
- Marital rape or sexual assualt
- Using finances as a means of control
While it is possible for domestic violence perpetrators to reform, keeping yourself and your loved ones safe is crucial. If substance abuse has made your home a minefield and you don’t feel safe, there are resources available to help you and your partner.
Niznik Behavioral Health is a national provider of addiction treatment focused on addressing the root cause of substance abuse while also empowering clients with the tools necessary to lead a clean and sober life. This includes anger management, conflict resolution skills, and effective communication. Our family and relationship counseling can help to mend past hurts, but one must always keep their own health and safety as a priority.