Heterosexual men who abuse their domestic partners
Because of recent unfortunate headlines, fueled by the notoriety of the persons involved, we focus on heterosexual men who abuse their domestic partners and on women who are abused by men, because these women constitute a significant portion of the population seeking substance abuse treatment. Domestic violence encompasses the range of behaviors including physical, sexual, financial, psychological and emotional abuse. Therefore men who abuse their partners are referred to throughout as batterers; women who are abused are called survivors.
Differences in terminology pose another potential barrier to effective identification and outreach; Effective domestic violence programs try to avoid negative language by using such positive terms as empowerment to encourage battered women to move forward and build a new life. Denial, enabling, codependency, and powerlessness—terms widely used in the substance abuse field to describe typical client behaviors and aspects of recovery; likely, the terminology sends a counter-productive message to victims as seeming condescending, stigmatizing, repressive, and discouraging.
The prevalence of domestic violence among women in substance abuse treatment is significant.
- 60% of clients reported either current or past domestic violence.
- 47% reported current domestic violence at treatment intake.
- 39% of the women in this study reported that they had been hit, kicked, emotionally abused, or threatened in the past year.
- 30% reported that their partner tried to isolate them and control their choice of friends, activities, or use of money.
- 9% reported someone currently in their lives who made them feel unsafe.
Substance Abuse Treatment Program
Several features of common substance abuse treatment pose problems for domestic violence programs and inhibit collaboration between the two fields are the largely male clientele, the emphasis on family involvement, and the use of confrontational group therapy. Some domestic violence professionals worry that the male orientation in many substance abuse treatment programs makes these programs irrelevant to the realities of women’s lives, insensitive to their needs, and inapplicable to the issue of domestic violence. They also believe that enlisting the help of family members and significant others in the treatment process can, in the case of violent partners, endanger the survivor.
Although there is some validity to these characterizations, education, communication, and cross-training can help to overcome barriers between substance treatment and domestic violence programs. Hawaii Island Recovery professionals are not only cross-culturally trained and knowledgeable of the many unique variables; they are also committed to the successful resolution and continuing recovery of each individual. Their combined experience uniquely qualifies them to tailor-fit a therapeutic environment that will enhance, through enthusiasm, science, respect, a collaborative, personalized mode of treatment.
Hawaii Island Recovery
Consider, no judgment rendered, only support and respect of your choice to make this frightening and brave choice. A team of dedicated professionals creates an individual path to address what you need most for your breakthrough. Swimming with dolphins and beach yoga will ease the hard work that will be required to successfully slay your demons. Call to speak with one our totally not hard-selling compassionate representatives today.
Despite the idyllic setting, this is a center committed to recovery.