excuse for their coercion and violence that their success at maintaining abstinence from substances may be compromised by their continued use of violence and coercion in their intimate partnerships. Interventions designed to reinforce abusers' accountability for their violence may therefore be helpful to the success of an abuser in a substance abuse recovery program.
Accountability for domestic violence is possible only when there is an ability to impose swift, consistent, and meaningful sanctions for the abusive behavior, a role that rests primarily, if not exclusively, with the criminal and civil justice systems. When a substance abuse treatment provider has an opportunity (without violating confidentiality) to inform the appropriate criminal or civil justice authority that a mandated client is a perpetrator of domestic violence and to make a concurrent recommendation that such authority make appropriate mandated referrals and/or set relevant conditions of supervision, the provider should do so.
e.In the case of a victim's partner coming on-site, substance abuse treatment providers should activate appropriate in-house security measures. If the abuser refuses to leave, and/or engages in acts that threaten the safety of staff or clients, and/or that violate an existing order of protection, the police should be called. Substance abuse treatment providers should consider the input of the victim in developing a response plan but also maintain a responsibility to respond quickly to the safety-related needs of staff and other clients.
f.Substance abuse treatment providers who have a legal duty to warn, should take appropriate steps to protect the intended victim when they have direct knowledge of a client's intent to do harm to that intended victim.
Abusers' threats should be taken very seriously and responded to swiftly and consistently. When there is firsthand knowledge of an abuser's threat to do harm, the victim and the police should be notified immediately, and the victim should be provided the local domestic violence service program hotline number and offered assistance with safety planning.
a.Training on the relationship between domestic violence and alcohol/other drug use and addiction should be required for all substance abuse counselors, supervisors, and clinical directors.