A Non-Profit Organization Serving Victims of Abuse for Over 30 Years in North Central Montana
A Note From the Editor.....
Have a spooky Halloween, and tasty Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas!
By Dawn Olivo
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State of Montana Information & Forms
Do you need court forms?  Are you not sure where to start or get help filling them out?  The link below will take you to many different court forms, including Parenting Plans, Child Custody, Divorce, and Orders of Protection.  There are also detailed instructions to help you fill out the paperwork. 
October - December 2018
We made a few Public Service Announcements for October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  More to come!
“Linkage Between Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse” ~by Autumn Miller, Hi-Line’s Help for Abused Spouses Wow, October already?! It’s really hard to believe summer is over, snow is falling, and the fall crispness is settling in. It’s also hard to take in the fact that in the United States, a woman is beaten every 15 seconds. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, but every day of every month of every year is the perfect day to help someone break the cycle and be free from violence. Domestic violence is an ongoing terrifying experience of willful intimidation, physical, psychologic, and/or sexual abuse in the home used to establish power and control over another person and spans all economic and cultural backgrounds. It is the leading cause of injury to women ages 15 to 45, with at least 30% of female trauma patients (excluding traffic accident victims) having been victims of domestic violence. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) found 61% of domestic violence perpetrators have substance abuse issues. The National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse found as many as 80% of child abuse cases are associated with alcohol use and other drugs, and the link between child abuse and other forms of domestic violence is well established. Children of parents with drug problems are more likely to experience physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse than children who live in non-substance abusing homes. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, substance abuse occurs in conjunction with intimate partner violence 40% to 60% of the time. Approximately 20% of abusive males admit to consuming some type of drug and/or alcohol prior to being aggressive toward their partners. On days of heavy drug and/or alcohol use, violence is 11 times more likely to occur in violent relationships, and victims of domestic violence are 70% more likely to abuse alcohol than those in healthy relationships. Those who perpetrate domestic violence are responsible for their actions despite any reasoning they use to rationalize their behavior. Using drugs and alcohol may exacerbate an abuser’s pre-existing violent tendencies, but there’s no evidence showing that using drugs or alcohol is the cause of domestic abuse and it’s not an excuse for abusive behavior. The link between substance abuse and domestic violence is not a direct one, it’s just one of many factors that can affect or increase violent tendencies and the need for power and control. Batterers who abuse alcohol try to avoid responsibility and justify their violent actions by blaming alcohol with saying things like: “It wasn’t my fault – it was the alcohol! I’d never hurt you, you know that. I love you.”. Substance abuse plays a facilitative role in maintaining victims, as substance use impairs a victim’s capability to properly advocate for their own safety, and consequently, the lifestyle associated with illegal drug use can push victims further into harm's way. Quite often, the abuser serves as the provider of drugs and/or alcohol, and they may also force their victim to carry, sell and/or buy drugs. This compounds the problem of the victim leaving on many levels. Abusers may also use drugs and/or alcohol to incapacitate their partner so they can perform sexual acts their partner would not otherwise agree to. Victims of domestic violence may self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to alleviate pain and trauma caused by the abuse. Unfortunately, too many people express too little sympathy toward abuse victims because they wrongly blame the victims for the abuse they have endured. Society often looks at the victim’s consumption of drugs and alcohol as the cause of the abuse, which leads victims to blame themselves, even though abusers are solely responsible for their actions. Some side effects of alcohol and drugs can result in victims not remembering all the facts about the assault or the events leading up to it. Victims tend to think their scattered memory will cause people to think they are not being truthful, and because of this, some will never report the incident. Fearing for their safety, they may be unwilling or unable to get help. The abuser may threaten to hurt or kill the victim if he or she tries to visit a crisis center or get treatment for drug use. Often, victims are understandably reluctant about coming forward. They don’t know where to turn, and they are scared of letting anyone know of the abuse due to consequences that may ensue. Domestic violence never just goes away, and it won’t stop just because the person doing the beating stops using alcohol or drugs. Abusers are unlikely to be truthful about their violent behavior. Victims need to know they did not cause the violence and they are not responsible for the abuser’s behavior. Don’t settle for a life of violence. It will only result in permanent damage to you and your children. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, we are always here to help. Please do not hesitate to call Hi-Line’s Help for Abused Spouses at 406-278-3342, on our 24-hour Crisis Line at 1-800-219- 7336, or stop by our office located at 300 N. Virginia St, Ste #307, Conrad, MT 59425.