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alcohol-fuelled domestic abuse

(17 Posts)
SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 13:46:48

I've just discovered that a close family member of mine has given their partner a black eye twice when drunk. When not drunk, this family member has never behaved at all inappropriately, and is devastated by their drunken actions. I think the family member has a problem with alcohol and I'm really worried for the partner and also for the family member (shitty as their actions have been). My question is, if the family member can give up alcohol, properly and for good, should their partner still leave them, or is there hope? I'm at a loss about how to offer support.


Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 30-Jul-15 13:50:16

The partner should leave the family home until they've proved they can stay clean of alcohol. Nothing will change if the routine stays the same. There's no incentive to stop if they get away with it by being sorry every time it happens.

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Jul-15 13:51:03

This is really something that can't be dealt with by anyone other than the couple concerned.

If the person who was hit sees it as a last straw, you have to support that person.

If the person who was violent wants to give up alcohol, you have to support them, too.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 13:51:39

That makes sense, Notas. sad

Thank you

DownWithThisTypeOfThing Thu 30-Jul-15 13:52:09

I would say if the family member is violent when drunk, but doesn't give up alcohol (or tries to) then they are ok with being violent and the being drunk facilitates it.

I know that is massively simplistic, but in law, being drunk doesn't absolve someone as usually they've made that decision to be drunk.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 13:53:00

Thanks Imperial. I know the person who was violent wants to give up alcohol and I will support with that if they let me.
I don't know whether to encourage the partner to leave, though. Obviously it's their choice, but they are a bit "lost" I think, and may need guidance.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 13:53:44

Yes down, that makes sense. Thank you.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 13:54:53

I just don't really understand how it works. Why is someone who is usually kind, gentle and considerate violent when drunk? I just can't relate, and am confused about my family member.

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Jul-15 13:56:32

I think your support should absolutely be with the person who was hit, personally. Are you related to one and not the other?

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 14:03:11

Yes related to the hitter

ImperialBlether Thu 30-Jul-15 14:06:00

OK so I think you should encourage the person with the alcohol/violence problem to leave his/her partner alone for a while, to give them some time to recover and to give them some peace. He/she should do everything possible to make life easier for that person at the moment.

Twinklestein Thu 30-Jul-15 14:22:08

Lots of apparently nice people are belligerent drunks because the alcohol loosens inhibitions and control.

I think he needs treatment for alcohol addiction, but he also needs to contact and get help for the DV.

Some drunk men would never punch a woman no matter how much they had consumed.

So there's a combination of alcohol and aggression issues.

BertieBotts Thu 30-Jul-15 14:38:46

You have to be careful - drinking does not cause DV and it is often a coping mechanism, that abuse victims will blame drink, drugs, stress etc rather than their partner because it is easier to accept that than to believe that their partner is to blame. Even if abuse seems to only happen when a person is drunk, high, etc, the fact is that if/when it's repeated there are underlying patterns there. The use of drugs is just a screen or a justification to themselves, if you like. Lundy Bancroft writes very eloquently about why this is the case.

But for a total one off - I don't think it is the same thing. It's just that without being involved closely in the situation, you can't be sure that it was a one off.

A person can be so intoxicated that their perception is altered and they might react violently or irrationally out of panic, but alcohol and drugs do not actually change a person's personality. A panic/fear response followed by shock and disbelief upon sobriety is completely different to sustained abuse even if episodes of abuse only ever occur when the abuser is intoxicated. And "devastation" is hard to call - it could be on the side of shock/disbelief of a one off, but it could also be an abuser's typical "Poor me" reaction.

If it was a genuine one off then perhaps this will be a wake up call to look at that alcohol intake. If not then I think you need to buy your relative a copy of the Lundy book ASAP!

BertieBotts Thu 30-Jul-15 14:40:50

Sorry not your relative, but their partner.

When there is a pattern of aggression when drunk, it usually turns out that the "usually kind, considerate, gentle" person is not so much like that. Either there are issues simmering away under the surface, or they have a really skewed sense of entitlement, or their aggressive side comes out in other ways. But it's certainly not locked away and only let out by alcohol.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 19:45:29

Thanks for the advice, all.

Bertie, it is a least a two-off rather than a one-off. It's very true that it can't be thought of as just alcohol. I know that I, and most other people I assume, have been off my face on many occasions and never got anywhere close to being physically violent. It's hard to accept about a relative you love very much, though, and experience as very gentle, etc.. I do know that the partner has to be a priority here.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 19:46:57

Twinkle, that link looks just the think. Thank you.

SnandyBrap Thu 30-Jul-15 19:47:09

thing not think

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