It is not uncommon for couples to fight harder and more violently when they are under the influence of alcohol than when they are sober. It is also not uncommon for people to take impromptu videos when they see violence break out in public, and post them on YouTube and social media sites for all to see.
For a couple in Texas, one such video would become a turning point in their lives and relationships. Depicting them in a violent and drunken argument, the video was first posted on Reddit. She hit him with closed fists. He threw a carryout container of food in her face.
When the video went viral, law enforcement in Baytown, Texas, identified the two people as a couple and said that both were charged with misdemeanors for public intoxication.
When interviewed, the man in the video said that alcohol played a role in what happened. He also reported that the couple worked through their issue and were still together – and that both had avoided alcohol since the fight.
Domestic Violence and Alcohol
Alcohol very often plays a role in violent crimes of all kinds, and spousal and partner abuse is among them. About two-thirds of people who report domestic violence report that alcohol was involved, meaning that one or both people were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the assault, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). It is unclear whether alcohol triggers the violent behaviors or if those who struggle with alcohol use disorders are more prone to violence, but in either case, alcohol is clearly linked to violence. When an alcohol use disorder exists in conjunction with partner violence, immediate help is needed.
A Wakeup Call
It is not always easy to tell when alcohol use goes from functional use to abuse. Unfortunately, experiencing partner violence when one or both people are under the influence is indicative of a relationship with alcohol that has gotten out of control. Being unable to control one’s choices while under the influence is a problem, and the natural response is to cut back on alcohol use.
For those living with an alcohol use disorder, however, it is not possible to moderate drinking. That is, promises to stick to “just one” or to avoid alcohol entirely are impossible to maintain when alcohol use has become a disorder. Cravings are powerful, and especially when drinking occurs at regular times (e.g., after work, while eating, after eating, or on the weekends), it can be difficult to break the habit of use.
For this reason, when violence in a relationship occurs and signals the need to stop drinking, and the individual is unable to stay sober, it can be the wakeup call needed to enroll in an alcohol addiction treatment program.
Is Now the Time for You to Call?
If you are the victim of domestic violence and you are ready to get help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Advocates are available to answer your call 24 hours a day and assist you in finding a safe way out, learning more about what resources are available to you, or determining whether or not your relationship is healthy.
If you are living with an alcohol use disorder and you have struggled with violent outbursts and/or have been the victim of domestic violence, there is help available to assist you in getting the treatment you need. Comprehensive care can connect you with medical and therapeutic intervention and treatment to help you stop drinking completely and learn how to make use of healthier coping mechanisms. They can also help you address experiences of trauma and begin to heal as you create a new and more balanced life for yourself. Whether or not you partner follows you into treatment or stays and commits to sobriety, you have the power to improve your own quality of life – and potentially to save your own life – by getting the help you need to identify behavior patterns that are holding you back.
Are you ready to learn more about what is possible in your life and in your relationship when alcohol no longer plays a role?