Breaking the Silence: Continuing to build the links between the family and domestic violence (FDV and AOD sectors)

December 2016

Following her recent opening presentation at the New South Wales Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies and Women’s AOD Services Network forum, Professor Ann Roche was invited by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Evaluation (FARE) for the Drink Tank newsletter on the role of the AOD in responding to victims of FDV.

The article notes that over the past decade the AOD sector has placed a greater emphasis on identifying the needs of children and the important role of families. Unfortunately, developments have been slower in relation to addressing the specific needs of women particularly within the context of AOD-related FDV.

Professor Roche acknowledges research such as FARE’s landmark Harm to Others, along with NADA’s Women's AOD Services Network Model of Careand NCETA’s Family Centred AOD Practice are all helping to change and support the way the AOD responds to FDV issues. NCETA’s resources have been designed to support the AOD sector to better understand and address FDV and the needs of women, children and families in general, and to build the capacity of services and sectors to respond to these complex issues.

In her article, Professor Roche contends that while AOD use does not causeFDV, it may contribute to this violence in a variety of different ways. Some of the steps to help the AOD and FDV sectors recognise their mutual roles in addressing these issues include:

  • Raising awareness about the relationships between AOD use and FDV
  • Dispelling myths and clarifying misunderstandings
  • identifying ways that the AOD sector can appropriately and safely address these issues.

Link to Drink Tank article.