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False Connection Between Adult Domestic Violence and Alcohol (From Helping Battered Women: New Perspectives and Remedies, P 222-228, 1996, Albert R Roberts, ed. -- See NCJ-163226)

NCJ Number
T M Zubretsky; K M Digirolamo
Date Published
7 pages
Despite the significant correlation between domestic violence and drug dependence, little research has been conducted to assess intervention strategies that address both domestic violence and drug abuse problems of men who batter; similarly, little has been done to help drug-dependent battered women meet their needs for safety and sobriety.
In the drug treatment field, misinformation often leads counselors to understand and respond to domestic violence using an addiction framework, an approach that has particularly harmful consequences for battered women. Such an approach identifies battering as either a symptom of alcohol abuse or as an addiction itself. The authors suggest that interventions should not be based on the following harmful, false assumptions: (1) alcohol use causes men to batter women; (2) alcoholism treatment alone will address abuse adequately; (3) battered women are codependent and thus contribute to the continuation of abuse; and (4) addicted battered women must get sober before they can begin to address their victimization. The authors also indicate that traditional addiction treatment approaches are not adequate to address the needs of battered women and that meeting the needs of battered women who are affected by drug abuse requires an effective working relationship between the domestic violence and the drug treatment fields. 12 references