Trevor Dongo Spotlights Women’s Battle Against Substance Abuse

WHO report reveals deep impact of relationship violence on women's health.

by Adenike Adeodun

The issue of drug and substance abuse is often associated with men, but Urban Grooves musician Trevor Dongo highlights that women are equally affected, often as a result of abusive relationships. This concern is backed by a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, which sheds light on the broader implications of abuse on women’s health and its connection to increased substance use.

Traditionally, discussions around drug and substance abuse predominantly focus on male victims. However, as Trevor Dongo points out, women are also significantly impacted by this issue, particularly those who are in abusive relationships. This gendered aspect of substance abuse is less acknowledged but equally severe, with women often resorting to drugs as a coping mechanism for the trauma they endure in abusive environments.

According to the WHO, about 30% of women globally have experienced physical or emotional violence by a partner or non-partner. This violence is not only a violation of human rights but also a critical health issue that contributes to a range of mental and physical health problems. Women exposed to such violence are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, sexual and reproductive health issues, and an increased risk of contracting HIV in certain regions.

The psychological impact is profound as well. The WHO report links experiences of intimate partner violence with higher chances of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and alcohol abuse. These conditions often lead to increased vulnerability, where drugs and alcohol become a refuge for those affected.

The impact of violence extends into various behaviors that compromise health. Women who have experienced sexual violence, especially during childhood, are more likely to engage in smoking and risky sexual behaviors later in life. This exposure also correlates with a higher likelihood of experiencing further violence and, for some, entering cycles of abuse that perpetuate substance use as a form of self-medication.

The correlation between experiencing intimate partner violence and the likelihood of developing substance abuse issues highlights the need for comprehensive approaches to support victims. Mental health services play a crucial role in recovery, providing necessary interventions that can prevent the escalation of substance use and address the underlying trauma caused by abuse.

The insights from the WHO report underscore the importance of integrating substance abuse programs with domestic violence prevention and mental health support. Policies need to be inclusive, recognizing the unique experiences of women and ensuring that interventions are sensitive to the needs of those who have been through various forms of abuse.

Raising awareness among healthcare providers about the links between intimate partner violence and substance abuse is vital. Training programs that equip professionals to recognize signs of abuse and provide appropriate referrals or support can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected.

Beyond healthcare, legal reforms are necessary to protect women from violence and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable. Social support systems also need strengthening to provide safe spaces for women to seek help without stigma or fear of retribution.

Education plays a pivotal role in changing societal attitudes towards both substance abuse and domestic violence. Advocacy and educational campaigns can help destigmatize these issues and promote healthier relationships that do not resort to abuse or substance use as coping mechanisms.

The intersection of substance abuse and intimate partner violence against women highlights a critical area for intervention, encompassing legal, medical, and social support structures. By addressing these issues holistically, society can better support those at risk and create environments that foster health, safety, and empowerment for all women.

Source: Newsday

You may also like

white logo with motto

The Zimbabwe Advocate is more than just a news outlet. We are a movement, a symbol of resistance against misinformation.

Latest News

© 2024 The Zimbabwe Advocate. All Rights Reserved.