Women with Substance Abuse Problems Exposed to Violence Against Women by Men

substance abuseWomen are type vulnerable lot. They are the victims of most violence against women cases that happen in homes and even outside home in clubs and public places. However when a woman engages in substance abuse she even become more vulnerable. It is not strange to see a woman who has got drunk being dragged away by men who do not even know her, in most cases women are raped when they are drunk by people who are closest to them. In this society women who have become dependent on alcohol are an easy prey to men who insult and use them for all their benefits; their handbags snatched, they get physically harmed and in extreme cases where they drink too much to contain the have been victims of gang rape.

In family setting, in a home where a woman is a drunkard there will always be fights between her and her husband, women increase their chances of being physically hurt by their husbands when they get drunk and hence are unable to reason well as they would without the influence of alcohol and other drugs. The drugs taken often interfere with the cognitive abilities of the people who use them and women are no exception, with this impaired cognitive abilities in a person nothing happens the same and for women it places them at risk of assault not only from their spouses but also from the general public. Some  have also turned to substance abuse or alcohol, as a result of exposure to violence against women perpetrated by men . When someone is exposed to violence the will suffer Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms which is majorly characterized by emotional numbing, intrusion, hyper arousal and even avoidance, a woman experiencing PTSD will turn to alcohol and other forms of substance abuse to escape these memories but this will only make her even more vulnerable. Women who might have also been brought up by parents who constantly fought face a problem in the future as the woman has the syndrome in her, she grew up seeing her mother being victimized by the father and that in itself is a myriad dosage of inferiority complex, making her view herself as a someone to be subjected to a man’s control hence giving in to constant harassment by men. This problem can be light in normal circumstances but if she also takes alcohol or uses other drugs then the risk of substance abuse is greatly escalated.

Research study in Stockholm

Between March 2009 and April 2010, 79 women with substance misuse in Stockholm were interviewed; 35 WwH (WwH) participating in outpatient treatment for substance misuse, and 44 HW (HW) with or without treatment for substance misuse in contact with Social Services. When in contact with Social Services, there is a standing offer to participate in treatment for substance abuse problems, though not mandatory for receiving help. Women were asked to participate in the study by the staff at the respective units or by a researcher when visiting each participant unit.

HW in the present study were individuals without a residence, owned or rented, had no permanent address, had to rely on temporary housing options, or were living rough. Women in shelters or temporarily living in institutions were also included.

There were some missing data on items randomly distributed over the measurements for one of the subjects included in the HW group.

A shortened version of the World Health Organization questionnaire of male violence against women – experience of men’s physical and psychological violence, sexual abuse, number and incidence of assault, and domestic violence between the adults during childhood was completed by the subjects. Questionnaires concerning relation to male perpetrators like partner, father, acquaintance, etc., if the violence against women was reported to the police, if the report passed to prosecution, any help they got and from whom, and experienced satisfaction with this help/support, were formulated for this study by the authors. ASI, Addiction Severity Index, was also used to seek information about substance misuse problems, physical and psychological health, family situation, marital status, children, and experience of the justice system.

The results of the study

In total, 91% (72 of 79 women; WwH 29; HW 43) had experienced  violence against women by men. In total 99% (WwH 97%; HW 100%) reported experiences of emotional/psychological violence against women, 90% (WwH 83%; HW 95%) physical, and 61% (WwH 59%; HW 63%) sexual violence. Nearly two fifths (WwH 18%; HW 82%) of the women had been assaulted during the past year and about one-fifth (WwH 10%; HW 33%) from their current partner, most exposed by numbers and times were the HW. About a third of the women (WwH 34%; HW 28%) had been abused by the father or another male relative, for further information about the number of women in the respective group subjected to violence against women during childhood.

substance abuseThe study, on substance abuse, also found out that alcohol dependence was a contributor to the injustices that women were put through. The mean score for the WwH alcohol consumption days during the last 30 days was 6.8 days (SD=9; range 0-30). Most frequent substance abuse during the last 30 days was amphetamine used by 24 of the HW in mean 7.3 days (SD=12.2; range 0-30). Both groups were suffering from physical ill health as prolonged physical damage/illness (WwH 51%; HW 82%), receiving medication for physical problems (WwH 43%; HW 45%), and had Hepatitis C virus infection (WwH 6%; HW 70%).

In conclusion, it is clear that women who engage in are more exposed to violence against women than those who are not. It is therefore necessary for women addicted to drugs to seek treatment. We at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center are committed to availing help to addicts by availing some of the most integrative approaches to healing an addict. We advocate for natural healing to all kinds of addiction. Call on Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for help.

Women with Substance Abuse Problems Exposed to  Violence Against Women by Men