Domestic violence and addictions among women are on the increase and are a matter of public health concern. As stated by the U.S Bureau of Justice, 85% of domestic abuse cases have females as victims. What’s more, other studies have shown that violence among spouses increases the risks of substance abuse in women, leading to the question of how relationship abuse impacts addictions for them. To effectively answer this, it’s important to understand the various forms of abuse.

Relationship Abuse in Many Forms

Domestic violence comes in various forms, and all have the same devastating effect; to overpower victims and keep them in perpetual fear. The common forms of abuse victims face include; 

  • Verbal abuse (name-calling, continual humiliation privately and publicly, ridiculing religious beliefs and ethnic backgrounds, body shaming, screaming and shouting, and other word-related insults).
  •  Physical abuse (direct damage to the victim’s body either by hand or with weapons, hurting children, starvation and sleep deprivation of victims, forcing victims to take drugs, among others). 
  • Psychological abuse (gas-lighting, threatening victims about child custody, killing household pets in front of children, destroying valuables belonging to the victim, constantly threatening them with death by driving dangerously, etc.). 
  • Emotional abuse (undermining victims’ self-worth and self-esteem, blaming them for every problem in the relationship, suicidal threats, and emotional blackmail).

Other forms of abuse include social abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, image-based abuse, and reproductive abuse.

How Does Domestic Abuse Trigger Substance Abuse in Women?

Many women know that their lives are in danger when they go through continuous abuse from their partners in their relationships and that they need help to escape. However, they tend to shy away from seeking help because of the social stigma attached to it. According to a study conducted by Yamawaki et al. (2012), participants blamed domestic violence victims rather than the abuser, noting that it was the victims’ fault that they were abused. This, coupled with constant threats and punishment from their abusive partners, prevents them from getting help. 

After consistent beatings, humiliation, being made to feel worthless and unloved by their partners, many women tend to embrace alcohol and drugs for solace. Unfortunately, continuous drug and alcohol intake can develop into dependence and ultimately addiction. Several surveys have shown that relationship abuse is one leading cause of substance abuse in women, connoting that the longer the victims stay in an abusive relationship, the longer their addiction lasts. Fortunately, they can come out of abuse and escape addiction.

How to Deal with Relationship Abuse and Addiction

Many victims struggle with substance abuse long after leaving their abusive partners, but seeking help is the first step towards recovery. One way to do this is to reach out to credible recovery centers, which offer detoxification and therapy sessions to help deal with addiction. Also, counseling sessions allow victims to come to terms with their abuse and move on with their lives. 

Should you need help to overcome addiction and escape an abusive relationship, Findlay Recovery Center is at your service. Kindly contact us and let us be a part of your journey to an addiction-free life. 

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