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How to Recognize “Sticks and Stones” in Your Home

While many of our blog posts revolve around addiction and recovery, today’s post focuses on another serious problem that takes place in many homes – and that problem is domestic violence.

Spectrum Health Systems is well known for its addiction treatment programs, but many don’t realize that we also offer a range of programming that tackle various related issues, such as domestic violence, impaired driving, anger management and sex solicitation.

  • PAVE (Prevention of Abuse and Violence Education) – an intimate partner abuse education program which helps clients take responsibility for their actions and teaches them healthier ways of communicating and interacting.
  • DAE (Driver Alcohol Education Program) – a program for first-time offenders that educates drivers about the dangers of impaired driving.
  • Anger Management – a program for individuals with a history of anger, violence and aggressive behavior.
  • CARD (community approach to reduced demand) – an intervention program designed for those who are arrested for soliciting sex.

Programs are offered in many of our outpatient treatment centers. Most are court-ordered but individuals can also self-refer.

To start, it might be helpful to educate readers about domestic abuse. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. The issue affects many women around the U.S., where approximately two-thirds of violent attacks against women are committed by a husband, boyfriend or lover. Women are not the only victims. Although less common, men face this issue too.

Many people who are involved in domestic abuse lack empathy for their partners, as many have never experienced empathy growing up. In addition, many perpetrators grew up in an abusive home where they witnessed a parent being abused or they were abused themselves. This is where the cycle first starts, and this is where it must end. We must educate children along their path to adulthood about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. The PAVE program seeks to break this cycle by helping clients restructure harmful attitudes and beliefs, while learning non-controlling and non-violent ways of interacting.

For those on the journey to recovery from substance abuse, being in an abusive relationship can be especially difficult. Many find it hard to maintain their recovery amid such abuse. This is why you must evaluate every relationship you have and consider what is best for you. Spectrum is here to help, if you feel like you are struggling in your recovery. To learn more about how to spot the signs of domestic abuse in your community, listen to Airing Addiction’s episode – “Sticks and Stones”: The Blunt Truth, with guest Maureen Casey, court-mandated program director.

If you or someone you love needs help and support for an addiction, Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center are here 24/7. Our individualized services provide the support you need, when you need it. Learn more on our website or call us at (800) 366-7732 for inpatient services and (800) 464-9555 extension 1161 for outpatient treatment.

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