Intimate partner violence is a traumatic and stressful life event which must be addressed more by agencies in society.
This was underscored on Wednesday, August 10th, 2022, when the National Council on Substance Abuse (NCSA), held a webinar which addressed ‘The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Abuse.’
In his opening remarks, NCSA Counsellor Mosiah Hoyte noted that persons exposed to or experiencing this type of violence may adopt negative coping strategies like using alcohol and other drugs to deal with the situation.
“It must be noted that the use of legal or illegal substances to help with feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety or fear may lead to addiction and/or substance abuse related disorders. Additionally, children living in chaotic home environments and who are exposed to this type of violence are at risk of developing social, emotional, psychological, and behavioural challenges,” he lamented.
Perhaps because of obvious physical manifestation, intimate partner violence is often viewed as violence perpetrated by a male against a female, but he however cautioned that one must acknowledge that females are also the perpetrators of violence in relationships.
“In many instances, after long periods of silence, females are forced to, for their own safety and the safety of their children to report this negative and oppressive behaviour to authorities. However, in too many cases, this cry for help is too late,” he said.
The online discussion is a continuation of a series which commenced in January 2022 under the theme: “Strong Families, Stronger Nation”.
The focus of this session was to educate persons on how the exposure/experience of intimate partner violence may result in the abuse of drugs as a coping mechanism, and how children living with the resulting trauma may use drugs to cope or may model this behaviour.