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GUEST POST: Domestic Violence: A Look At The Link To Substance Abuse

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Caroline from asked if she could share some information with Trout Nation. Unlike sponsored posts, I’m not receiving compensation or endorsing anything, just sharing the article and links provided.

Last year, Trout Nation put together a list of domestic violence resources by location. If you or a loved one need help, you may find it helpful. However, that part of the site also does not have an escape button, so please use caution.



Photo via Pixabay by Unsplash

Domestic violence affects millions of Americans and destroys families every year. Nearly 3 out of every 10 women and 1 out of every 10 men in the U.S. experience the effects of domestic violence, which include depression, PTSD, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts. In extreme cases, it can even lead to homicide.

The reasons for domestic violence vary, but no matter what they may be, it’s important for the victim to know that there are resources available for help. It’s also important to remember that when domestic violence impacts one person in the home, it impacts everyone else. Children who see and hear abuse and its aftermath are susceptible to their own violent behavior, PTSD, depression, and emotional and mood disorders and often feel powerless and worthless.

Domestic violence and substance abuse have been heavily linked; one study in New York showed that over 90% of IPV cases involved drugs or alcohol. Because substances affect moods and prompt impulsive behavior, they can lead to violence if the conditions are right. Unfortunately, substance abuse can affect the victim, as well, as they use drugs or alcohol to escape the painful reality of their lives.

Because domestic abuse is so varied and can come in so many forms, it’s important to remember that it does not always have symptoms that can be seen. Abuse is a pattern of behaviors that can include physical assault, sexual assault, threatening, emotional and psychological abuse, stalking, keeping the victim isolated from friends and family, and verbal abuse. There is a stigma that surrounds domestic violence that often keeps people from talking about it, but it’s important for loved ones to start a conversation if they are concerned and offer to find help.

Violence is something that can be learned, which means it’s very important not only for the abuser to seek therapy or counseling, but for the victim and any children in the home as well. The damage that abuse can do takes years to heal, and for some the pain never goes away. Kids are especially sensitive to the effects of violence and could potentially begin to decline in their studies at school or in social relationships. Not only that, but seeing abuse play out in the home means children are more likely to become violent themselves, or to turn to substance abuse to cope.

There is never just one victim with abuse; the pattern creates a domino effect that touches many different people throughout various stages of life. If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, know that help is available, and that there is no room for blame where a victim is concerned.

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  1. Gretchen

    Can you clarify what “does not have an escape button” means in the context of a website? Does it take over my browser and not let me close the tab? Not let me go back? Open a full-screen process that I can’t alt-tab out of? I’d consider all of those malicious behaviors in a website, and I’m sure not going to click the link and find out.

    October 19, 2016
    • de Pizan
      de Pizan

      An escape button is a feature that lets the person hide the websites they are browsing. For someone in a domestic abuse situation, partners frequently monitor their internet browsing.

      October 19, 2016
    • JennyTrout

      Escape buttons are commonly used on websites and articles having to do with domestic abuse. Someone in an unsafe situation can hit the button and be directed away from that website, i.e., if their abuser happens to come in when they’re looking at the site, they can click away from it, and using the back button won’t return them to the domestic abuse website. Telling readers that this site doesn’t have an escape button lets them know that there’s not a safe option to leave quick and cover their tracks (if they’ve found this post from a search engine or something).

      October 19, 2016
      • Mojitana

        Thank you for explaining this. I was also curious and not aware of this function.

        October 19, 2016

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