criminal and civil justice systems.
In addition to incorporating the recommendations outlined in the Guiding Principles and the Employers sections into their responses to domestic violence, and being mindful of the potential need for individualized responses based on factors such as socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religious affiliation, physical and mental disabilities, immigrant status, education, employment status, urban vs. rural residency, and marital status, substance abuse treatment providers should also integrate the following recommendations specific to the alcohol/other drug treatment system. These recommendations are designed to promote responses that enhance victim safety, reinforce abuser accountability, and support recovery from chemical dependency.
1.VICTIM SAFETY AND SELF-DETERMINATION
a.Private, routine screening for domestic violence should be conducted with all female clients to determine if they are being abused by their intimate partners.
Failure to identify domestic violence as a problem in the lives of chemically dependent women can compromise the effectiveness of substance abuse recovery strategies. Abusers often are resistant to their partners' attempts to seek help of any kind and may, therefore, sabotage the recovery process by preventing victims from attending meetings or keeping appointments, or they may increase their use of violence or threats in order to reestablish control. Many chemically dependent victims leave substance abuse treatment in response to the increased danger or are otherwise unable to comply with treatment demands because of the obstacles constructed by their partners. Even if a victim is able to complete a substance abuse treatment program, being revictimized is predictive of relapse.
b.When domestic violence is identified, substance abuse treatment providers should collaborate with the victim in evaluating the impact of substance abuse treatment strategies on her safety, develop treatment plans that give priority to safety-related needs, and pro-actively assist victims in developing short and long-term safety plans. If a victim desires, arrangements should be made for her to meet with a local domestic violence service provider on or off-site.
The ability of victims to follow through on chemical dependency treatment plans can be compromised by the actions of their abusive partners. Victims should not be expected to comply with treatment plans that require them to do things that directly or indirectly endanger them.