16 Days of Activism 2020 – Day 14

Risk Factors and consequences of Domestic Abuse


Drug/alcohol misuse involves the misuse of prescription medication illegal and illegal drugs. Some common drugs used by perpetrators of abuse include cocaine, steroids and pain medication such as tramadol. Some common drugs used by victims as a coping mechanism and which increase their vulnerability are weed, alcohol and anti-anxiety medications such as pregabalin.

Drug and alcohol misuse increases incidents of domestic abuse – The Mayor of London’s 2005 report found that 93% of domestic violence perpetrators were substance users. In half of the cases, problematic substance use increased during incidents of violence.

However, drugs and alcohol are commonly used in order to cope with the trauma of experiencing domestic abuse. Research in Journal of American Medical Association has found that women who have experienced gender-based violence are 5.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with a substance use problem over their lifetime.

If you need support with drug or alcohol misuse please contact or


A special report into non-fatal domestic violence in 2014 shows that 1 in 9 men and 1 in 4 women experience abuse from an intimate partner physically, sexually, and experience stalking. These can all leave mental health impacts such as PTSD, fearfulness, as well as physical injury. Mental Health diagnoses increase a persons vulnerability to domestic abuse and also develop or worsen as a result of abuse.

Mental ill health includes; high levels of anxiety, depression, hypervigilance and low mood. Other well-known diagnoses which can result from trauma include PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), cPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) and various personality disorders.

Trauma informed support can help with negative thought processes, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, reprocessing of events and validation. Types of trauma-informed support that exist are EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapy, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy).

Changing Pathways will be offering these support systems in our new Counselling Service during 2021

Links to support services



Domestic abuse can also include sexual abuse within the relationship.

This doesn’t always show in the way the media normal portrays.

Sexual abuse is not only violent rape. Sexual abuse, and rape, is when someone does not want to have sexual contact with another person.

This includes: someone convincing you to have sexual activity or having sex, or giving sexual acts, will reduce the chance of violence or will calm the situation down. It might quiet the perpetrator and lower the risk of children waking in the night. All of these are sexual abuse within the relationship.

None of these mean you wanted to do it. None of these means you consented. It is part of coercive control. If you or someone you know, might need support around sexual abuse within a past abusive relationship – SYNERGY ESSEX or call 0300 003 7777

For support for current Domestic Abuse please contact ESSEX COMPASS or call 0330 333 7 444 or 01268 729707 opt1


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