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A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

In Search of Champions

There is a great deal of attention focused on domestic violence and sexual assault – and rightfully so. An issue that is critically related and often not discussed is the relationship between substance use/misuse/abuse and domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence published a white paper on this topic. I have included it in its entirety below. Given the rise in opiate use, the high levels of alcohol use/abuse and the recent Federal designation for Dutchess as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking area, the NCADDV article is a timely and valuable read. Public policy is an essential tool for change. New York State is placing great emphasis on the economic growth of the alcohol industry. Lawmakers at all levels would be well served to review the correlations drawn between substances and violence.
Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse – Why it matters? While substance abuse does not cause domestic violence, there is a statistical correlation between the two issues. Studies of domestic violence frequently indicate high rates of alcohol and other drug use by perpetrators during abuse. Not only do batterers tend to abuse drugs and alcohol, but domestic violence also increases the probability that victims will use alcohol and drug to copy with abuse. The issues of domestic violence and substance abuse can interact with and exacerbate each other and should be treated simultaneously.
Did you know?

Substance Abuse and Batterers
The U.S. Department of Justice found that 61% of domestic violence offenders also have substance abuse problems.
Batterers living with women who have alcohol abuse problems often try to justify their violence as a way to control their victims when they are drunk.
Men who batter frequently use alcohol abuse as an excuse for their violence. They attempt to rid themselves of responsibility for their violence by blaming it on the effects of alcohol.
A 1994 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice on murder in families found that more than half of defendants accused of murdering their spouses had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident.

Substance Abuse and Children
Children of substance abusing parents are more likely to experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse than children in non-substance abusing households.
A survey of public child welfare agencies conducted by the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse found that as many as 80% of child abuse cases are associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs.
Children who have experienced family violence are at greater risk for alcohol and other drug problems later in life than children who do not experience family violence.
Evidence suggests that children who run away from violent homes are at risk of substance abuse.

Services for Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse
Although there is no causal link between domestic violence and substance abuse, the failure to deal with domestic violence in substance abuse treatment programs or to deal with substance abuse in domestic violence programs interferes with the effectiveness of these programs. Many service providers recognize the correlation between substance abuse and domestic violence, but few domestic violence programs can offer adequate counseling or health services for substance abusers.

There are many reasons for the absence of substance abuse treatment programs within domestic violence services:
Domestic violence programs typically have limited resources and cannot afford to pay for the equipment, staff, and other resources needed to provide substance abuse programs.
Domestic violence programs primarily focus on providing safety and shelter.
There is a fear that focusing on the substance abuse problems of victims will encourage victim blaming.

In 2004, the Department of Justice found that:
80% of domestic violence programs that cannot provide substance abuse treatment programs for victims or abusers refer them to substance abuse treatment programs in their communities.
92% of domestic violence programs would like to begin or continue working with substance abuse treatment facilities to develop enhanced services for substance-abusing women.

When domestic violence programs were asked why they did not provide substance abuse treatment:
75% of programs cited a lack of financial resources.
71% of programs cited a lack of staff resources.
60% of programs cited a lack of experience dealing with substance abuse problems.

To improve treatment for individuals with both substance abuse and domestic violence problems, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment recommends:
Providing more federal funding for programs to be able to provide these much needed services in shelters.
Furthering efforts to link domestic violence and substance abuse treatment programs in human services systems and to provide counseling, child care, substance abuse and mental health treatment, among other services, in one program.
Creating mechanisms for interagency cooperation at the state and local level.
Funding demonstration projects to test the feasibility and effectiveness of linking domestic violence and substance abuse treatment programs.

    Elaine Trumpetto, M.A.

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    Parents Supporting Parents: The parent support group is currently undergoing reorganization.

    Thursday, January 15: VIP, Town of Fishkill, 807 Route 52, Fishkill, NY, 7:00pm

    More information for upcoming events and programs can be found on our website events calendar or by contacting our office at (845) 765-8301 or e-mailing Susan at 1sdonovan@capedc.org.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Alive @ 25 Information: Click here for the 2014 schedule. Contact our office 845-765-8301 for questions or to sign up!

    Attention Parents: Click here to download the Teen Driving Contract