Serenity Advocates for Anger Management in Rehab During Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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As we shed a light on domestic violence in October, Serenity advocates for treatment that includes education in effective tools for healthy relationships.

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Serenity Recovery advocates for effective treatment for substance abuse disorders, counseling for both batterers and their victims, and anger management tools for those who seek to control an intimate partner through violence or abuse.

The White House recently issued this year’s proclamation declaring October National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In the United States today, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. That breaks down to about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men over the age of 18 having experienced intimate partner abuse at some point in their lifetimes.

Given that substance abuse has been found to co-occur in 40-60% of incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV), Serenity Recovery seeks to support increased awareness of the link between substance abuse and IPV. The Futures Without Violence Associate defines IPV as “A pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that may include inflicted physical injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, stalking, deprivation, intimidation and threats. These behaviors are perpetrated by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship with an adult or adolescent, and one aimed at establishing control by one partner over the other.”

Establishing such a definition, with an understanding by the general public, sheds a light on the patterns of implementing abusive relationships and also the aim of such abuse, which is generally power or control. Since anger can stem from a desire to control, learning to better manage that impulse, as well as withdrawal from substances that potentially inhibit judgment, may improve the outcome in many instances of domestic violence.

The use of substances before an act of violence has been connected to a more severe outcome. Also, victims of domestic violence have, at times, reported turning to potentially addictive substances to deal with the physical and emotional impact of abuse. Also, in some cases, victims of IPV report being coerced to use drugs or alcohol by the abuser, a complex component of the cycle of abuse and control.

Batterer intervention programs and anger management programs have statistically improved both incidents frequency of abuse and outcomes. A look at the connection between batterer and substance abuse has shown that approximately half of all partnered men entering substance abuse treatment have battered within the past year. They are more than 10 times more likely to batter when they have been drinking, versus sober.

Though women can also be the batterer, it is statistically less frequent. Approximately 4 out of every 5 victims of IPV from 1994-2010 were female. Also, for women who abuse substances the incidents of victimization are significantly higher: between 55 and 99% of women who have substance abuse disorders have been victimized at some point in their lives. Whether victimization led to addiction or addiction led to victimization, the connection brings home the importance of education about the connection, as well as the need to increase efforts to protect all members of our community from domestic violence, women in particular.

Unfortunately, domestic violence can also lead to death, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month is also a time to pause and reflect, to mourn with those who have lost someone at the hands of a batterer.

Serenity Recovery advocates for effective treatment for substance abuse disorders, counseling for both batterers and their victims, and anger management tools for those who seek to control an intimate partner through violence or abuse. Working together as a community, we can improve the outcome for millions of Americans each year.

To learn more or to get help for yourself or a loved one, call 1-855-218-3775 or visit the Serenity Recovery website: http://www.serenityrehab.org

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Derry Hallmark
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