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Substance Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence

Updated: Jun 23

There is a unique intersection between domestic / intimate partner violence and abuse of psychoactive substances. While substance abuse does not cause domestic violence, a correlation exists between the two issues. Reports of increased substance abuse is reported by abusers; and domestic / intimate partner violence increases the probability that victim may use alcohol or other drugs to cope with the abuse, battering, shame and stress.

Georgia has seen a rise in reports of domestic violence. One news team reported today (April 30, 2020) an estimate of a 60% increase in the reports of domestic violence compared to the same timeframe last year.

It seems social distancing may be a contributing factor, and may increase the risk of violence in households. Many domestic violence survivors are unable to get out of their home, the place that is supposed to be their safe haven. Abusers may control or withhold space or necessary items, such as hand sanitizer or necessary medical attention. Women are not the only victims of abuse; children and men also experience it.

It’s important to know that domestic violence is not always physical abuse. Abuse may begin with behaviors that are easily dismissed or downplayed such as name calling, possessiveness, or distrust. However, violence and control always escalates over time with an abuser. It includes emotional, physical, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse.


Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse. Why It Matters. (2002). National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence In Georgia. (2019). National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Coronavirus isolation increases danger of domestic violence. March 18, 2020.

Governor: Domestic violence cases up, child abuse reports down in Georgia. April 1, 2020.

Quick Guide: What is domestic Violence (October 4, 2016). Blog.

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