Research shows women at risk of being 'targeted by abusers' - The Coventry Observer

Research shows women at risk of being 'targeted by abusers'

Coventry Editorial 14th Oct, 2023   0

A RESEARCH study co-funded by Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster has uncovered evidence that women are at risk of being targeted by abusers in “chaotic, intimidating or unsafe” drug and alcohol treatment services.

The research, published by the Centre for Justice Innovation and Staffordshire University, calls for a new specialist approach to treatment for women, which keeps them safe.

Women who seek treatment for drugs and alcohol face different needs from their male counterparts, including high incidence of trauma and abusive relationship, a greater burden of stigma around substance use and more common childcare responsibilities.

Yet the research found that women’s needs were not being met within the treatment system, where they can struggle to achieve recovery in a system where they are outnumbered two to one by men.

The report found that some women were forced to attend mixed-gender treatment groups, which made it difficult for some to talk about traumatic experiences that might be linked to their substance use such as sexual violence.

The research been widely welcomed, including by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, who co-funded the research.

PCC Simon Foster said: “Overcoming addiction to alcohol or drugs is an immensely difficult challenge – and this is made even harder for women, who face wider issues which can prevent their ability to engage with treatment services.

“The findings in this research will contribute to the development of more effective and tailored treatment services in our region.

“By understanding the unique challenges faced by women and implementing evidence-based practices, we can take the necessary action to ensure a more inclusive and effective treatment system, that supports the recovery and well-being of all people in our community.”

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