Safe and Fear-free Environment, Inc. (SAFE)

Drug or Alcohol Use

Safety and Drug or Alcohol Use Many people use alcohol and drugs. Using illegal drugs and abusing alcohol can be very hard on a battered woman physically and emotionally, and may hurt her relationship with her children and put her at a disadvantage in court. Beyond this, the use of alcohol or other drugs can reduce a woman's awareness and ability to act quickly to protect herself from her battering partner. Therefore, in the context of drug or alcohol use, a woman needs to make specific plans. If drug or alcohol use has occurred in my relationship with my partner, I can enhance my safety by doing some or all of the following: 1. 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. 2. If my partner is using, I can __________________________________ 3. To safeguard my children, I can __________________________________ 4. I can also __________________________________ Whenever I feel others are trying to control or abuse me: 5. I can read _________________ to help me feel stronger. 6. I can call _________________, _________________, and _________________ as other resources to be of support to me. 7. I can attend workshops and support groups at the domestic violence program or _________________ to gain support and strengthen my relationships with other people. 8. Other things I can do to help me feel stronger are: __________________________________ Note: Because the vast majority of domestic violence is committed by men against women, this safety plan was written using the female gender when referring to the battered victim. This does not mean to imply that men cannot be victims of battering. This was adapted from safety planning materials prepared by the Alaska Department of Law. A note of thanks to Barbara Hart, Esq., Legal Director, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence