Domestic violence—also known as intimate partner violence, spousal abuse, or domestic abuse—is the abusive behavior of one partner toward another in an effort to gain and maintain control. This can occur between partners, parents and children, or even siblings.
Behaviors vary in frequency and severity and may include physical or sexual violence, as well as emotional, psychological, or financial abuse. Numerous studies have documented the rampant presence of alcohol and drugs in domestic violence incidents.
According to the United States Justice Department, 61 percent of domestic abusers have substance abuse problems. Domestic violence and family violence are associated with substance-related disorders and have a number of common characteristics, including loss of control, continuation of behavior despite any adverse consequences, preoccupation or obsession, a development of tolerance for the violence, and family involvement.
In addition, domestic violence predisposes the next generation to domestic violence and addictive disorders.