If your spouse or partner is physically or sexually abusive…we do not recommend working directly with Sober Families and CRAFT. Instead, your safety comes first. If you are in a violent relationship or fear for your safety, the first priority is keeping safe.

If you are being abused, verbally, physically or sexually, it is NOT you’re your fault. And you are not alone. A recent report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that nearly 44% of U.S. women will experience some form of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) at some point in their lives. The US Department of Justice reports that nearly 25% of women and 7.6% of men report having been raped or physically assaulted by a current or previous intimate partner. 

What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is an attempt to establish power, dominance, and control over another person through fear, intimidation, or violence. It can include any physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological behavior that is meant to frighten, intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, blame, or injure someone. Some examples of IPV include:

  • Physical violence or threats of violence including kicking, hitting, shoving, destruction of victims’ properties or other physical force
  • Sexual violence and abuse including attempted or actual sexual contact without your consent
  • Psychological or emotional abuse, including intimidation, isolation, or controlling your contact with others
  • Verbal abuse including threats to harm the victims’ family, friends, children, co-workers, or pets
  • Stalking including following, harassing, or tracking you

If I could only get them to quit drinking/using everything would be ok…

One of the most difficult aspects of IPV is that often the abuser isn’t always like that. He or she often expressed intense remorse and makes promises about changing. And for the person who is being abused, they often still care a great deal about the one who is doing the abusing. So it can be very difficult for a person to take the courageous step to do what is necessary to seek safety and stop the pattern of abuse.

If there is substance abuse involved, it can sometimes feel easier to try to get the abuser to address their substance use first, hoping that if the substance abuse changes, the abuse will end. However, it doesn’t work that way. If you are experiencing IPV, you must first address your own safety, most likely by removing yourself from the relationship. Below are some safety tips and resources to help you through this process.

Safety planning

If you are in an IPV relationship, we urge you to get some help establishing your safety. Here are some basic safety tips recommended by domestic violence organizations:

  1. Pack a bag and store it somewhere out of sight. Include a few days of clothes, any needed medications, copies of important legal documents such as driver’s license, social security card, and bank information, and cash if possible.  
  2. Identify one or more safe houses: Talk with a trusted friend, family member, or coworker about being able to use their house as safe place to stay at any time. It’s important to keep your safe houses confidential. Know where you are going ahead of time.
  3. Keep your phone charged and with you at all times. You may want to program in some of the local crisis line and emergency numbers for easy access.
  4. Make arrangements for a safe place for your pets. Very often people who abuse their partners/spouses will also abuse companion animals. Check with your local humane society or animal shelter as they may have resources to help you find a temporary safe housing for your pet if you are going to be staying in a non-pet friendly shelter.
  5. Call 2-1-1.  2-1-1 is a free referral program that aims to distribute information about local social service providers to people in need. The service is free and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 2-1-1 has interpretation services in several languages – including, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
  6. Most importantly, talk with someone who can help! Every situation is different and it is essential that you talk with someone who can help you figure out how best to deal you’re your own case. Domestic violence organizations, hotlines, or therapists who have expertise in IPV can all help guide you as you decide what is right for you in your unique situation. Below is a list of resources for places to start looking for assistance.

Domestic Violence and Intimate Partner Violence Resources

National domestic violence resources

Local (Oregon) domestic violence resources

  • Allies in Change, offers male and female specific abuse intervention and abuse recovery groups.

Local (Oregon) legal assistance for domestic violence

Local (Oregon) temporary housing for domestic violence

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