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I.I can also _______________________________________________________________________.

Step 6:  Safety and drug or alcohol use.  Most people in this culture use alcohol.  Many use mood-altering drugs.  Much of this use is legal and some is not.  The legal outcomes of using illegal drugs can be very hard on a battered woman, may hurt her relationship with her children and put her at a disadvantage in other legal actions with her battering partner.  Therefore, women should carefully consider the potential cost of the use of illegal drugs.  But beyond this, the use of any alcohol or other drugs can reduce a woman’s awareness and ability to act quickly to protect herself from her battering partner.  Furthermore, the use of alcohol or other drugs by the batterer may give him/her an excuse to use violence.  Therefore, in the context of drug or alcohol use, a woman needs to make specific safety plans.

If drug or alcohol use has occurred in my relationship with the battering partner, I can enhance my safety by some or all of the following:

A.If I am going to use, I can do so in a safe place and with people who understand the risk of violence and are committed to my safety.

B.I can also ______________________________________________________________.

C.If my partner is using, I can ________________________________________________.

D.I might also _____________________________________________________________.

E.To safeguard my children, I might ____________________________________________

and _______________________________________.

Step 7:  Safety and my emotional health.  The experience of being battered and verbally degraded by partners is usually exhausting and emotionally draining.  The process of building a new life for myself takes much courage and incredible energy.

To conserve my emotional energy and resources and to avoid hard emotional times, I can do some of the following:

A.If I feel down and ready to return to a potentially abusive situation, I can

_________________________________________________________________.

B.When I have to communicate with my partner in person or by telephone, I can

________________________________________________________________.

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