Sexual and gender based abuse is any act of gender or sexual based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of acts such as coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
Domestic violence refers to a pattern of assaultive and coercive behavior, Including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion used by adults or adolescents against family members, most commonly against intimate partners. Domestic violence also happens among people who are not related by blood, in schools, public places, etc.
Drug abuse and addiction, often grouped as substance or drug use disorder, is a condition characterized by a self-destructive pattern of using alcoholic substance or medication to induce a sensational feeling of pleasure that leads to noticeable problems and disorders.
The root causes of sexual and gender based violence include drug abuse, inequality between male and female children, lack of education, harmful cultural practices against girls and women e.g. female genital mutilation, widowhood practices, lack of skills acquisition opportunities, mindset, cultural belief and silence in the face of oppression, lack of the culture of counselling and psychological support, lack of support from family etc.
Drug abuse and addiction, often grouped as substance or drug use disorder, is a condition characterized by a self-destructive pattern of using alcoholic substance or medication to induce a sensational feeling of pleasure that leads to noticeable problems and disorders. Drug abuse often leads to depression, anxiety, disorders, mood swings, etc
Research has proven that many victims are intoxicated at the time of assault and so cannot be said to have given consent. This means that drugs can be used to lure unsuspecting victims to have them raped. For instance, there have been cases of people who went to the club, left their drinks unattended and they ended up with poisoned drinks. Some women and girls including boys have visited mutual friends of the opposite sex where they were offered drinks laced with drugs and then raped. In many cases, victims wake up with a blurry mental picture of what happened and perpetrators capitalize on this to lie that victims gave consent before the act.
According to the report of Kilpatrick, Edmunds and Seymour (1992), when compared with non-rape victims, rape victims are 3.4 times more likely to abuse drugs and 5.3 times more likely to use prescribed drugs for non-medical purposes. 6.4 times more likely to use cocaine and 10 times more likely to use other hard drugs. This points to the fact that although the relationship between drug abuse and sexual and domestic violence is a complex one, it does exist in significant numbers.
Many rapists, partner beaters, and perpetrators of various forms of sexual and domestic violence have confessed to abusing drugs before the act. According to them, abusing drugs gave them the courage to indulge in such crimes. Some of these victims become depressed and live in depression when the consequences of their actions dawn on them.
On the part of victims of sexual and domestic abuse, drugs can be used in different ways. It is used by some victims as a means to escape or cope with the pain and psychological trauma that accompanies every form of abuse. Many victims have become hardened drug addicts because it helps take the pain away and because such feelings of relief are often ephemeral and short lived, they constantly feed such substances into their systems.
Victims who are at the age of committing suicide or experiencing chronic depression may resolve to drug abuse as a manifestation of self-harm or self-destructive behavior. Some take over doses of illegal drugs and wait for death.
Many innocent victims who end up with communicable diseases, sexually transmitted disease, incapacitation, etc resort to self-medication and over the counter drugs because they are either ashamed to open up to medical personnel about their health challenges or because they cannot afford proper medical treatment. Even when forced by circumstances to abuse drugs in this manner, the effect is equally damaging.
There is the need for a special kind of treatment for victims of sexual and domestic violence who are also drug addicts. Victims under this category must have access to trauma informed care that involves identifying, understanding and responding specifically to needs as against the usual therapy and treatment that is generally offered to victims.
Treating and helping victims of human trafficking who also abuse drugs must be complete and holistic and this involves physical, emotional, psychological and mental treatment. This is what we do at the Roost Foundation.