Addressing Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse

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ASAC’s Clinton and Jackson outpatient offices and Hightower Place, our Clinton halfway house program for women and women with children, are participating in an Integrative Services Project (ISP) grant with Family Resources (SafePath Survivor Resources).

The ISP is the result of a 1997 initial research study on the relationships between women’s experiences of partner violence and substance abuse in nine domestic violence/sexual assault programs and seven substance abuse agencies across eastern Iowa.  The purpose of the project is to enhance the safety and sobriety of substance abusing battered women by ending discrimination in service provision. Since 2001, ISP has worked with 34 agencies across Iowa. These agencies cover services for 71 of Iowa’s 99 Counties. ASAC has participated in ISP in Linn County since 2002 with our Heart of Iowa program and Waypoint.

The ISP process consists of:

  • Education: Basic education of substance abuse and domestic violence provided by the partner agency to the other on their field of expertise
  • Collaboration: Planning committee meetings with 3-5 staff made up of both substance abuse and domestic violence service providers
  • Integration: Two brand new services specific to victims with substance abuse issues.

Under ISP, services must be running for at least 6 months prior to grant end and serve a minimum of 50 women. Currently ASAC and Family Resources have provided integrated services to 40 unduplicated patients between Clinton and Jackson Counties.

Our involvement in the ISP has helped us to more effectively connect patients who have experienced domestic abuse related issues with the appropriate community resources and services providers. This allows the patient to increase their support network and work on their recovery from a holistic approach. Just as other services in the behavioral health field that are constantly changing, this involvement in the ISP and the partnership with SafePath Survivor Resources of Family Resources has helped ASAC staff become aware of new information and evidence based practices in the area of domestic abuse services.