Substance abuse & domestic violence

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Substance Abuse and Violence Against Women

Learning Objectives

When you finish this course, you will:

Discuss the risk factors and prevalence of alcohol and drug related domestic violence.

Identify the social and cultural issues associated with domestic violence.Utilize the types of social and legal services available to both women and men.

About This Course

Click on the image to the left to view and/or print a copy of this course.

Note: this copy is for reference only. This course must be viewed online to receive full credit.

This course provides a comprehensive review of the nature and prevalence of substance abuse problems and itsassociation with violence against women. This course has 3.5 credits and will take you approximately 3.5 hours to complete including passing the final exam and taking the course survey.

To complete the course and receive continuing education credits you must achieve an 80% score on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.

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It is only since thewomen's movement in the 1970s that the United States has begun to examine violence against women and see how it appears in our society. The fields of domestic violence and alcohol abuse are relatively new, and there are many words used to describe substance abuse and violence against women.

Violence against women has also been happening around the country for many years. From early times, theAmerican colonies accepted that married women had no political or legal rights as individuals (only as wife of ). It was an accepted male right to beat women. Judges expected a husband to use some force against his wife to keep her in line, but if the beatings became excessive, then the man might get into trouble.

Alcohol has been present in our culture from the early colonial days. Even then,people realized that regular alcohol use led, at the very least, to laziness. Alcoholics were considered morally weak, but men were often forgiven for their behavior because they were intoxicated. This tendency to excuse violence because of alcohol continues to this day.


The cycle can go around many times. In time, the cycle of violence can speed up and the intensity of the batteringcan get worse. For example, if the first cycle between the honeymoon phase and the serious battering incident took a year, it may be only 6 months before the next battering incident. The next may come in 3 months, and so on. Each incident that follows may become more violent until the woman ends up in a hospital or dead.

Domestic violence often follows a pattern, referred to as the Cycle ofViolence. This figure shows what the cycle looks like. Click on each phase to read more about each

Cycle of Violence

The Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Violence

The relationship between substance abuse and violence against women is complicated. Although some people believe that drugs and alcohol cause violence, they do not. However,alcohol or drug use can increase the risk of...