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Assaulted While Under the Influence

Girl cuddling with dog

This Allies in Recovery member feels in shock at having gotten to this point with their Loved One. The Loved One was assaulted during a drinking episode and the chaos is feeling too much to bear for Veritas19.

"I need help with a very sensitive subject. My partner is an alcoholic and she has been in and out of recovery for a while now. She had a drinking episode last night and ended up getting on a bus to a tough part of town and was assaulted. I am devastated for her. I am devastated for us and just overall so overwhelmed. She is with people from her AA group right now at the hospital and she is in contact with her counselor and doctor. I feel like I am in shock that it even got to this point. I am trying to keep the focus on myself and I just have so many mixed emotions. I wish I could change it, but I can't. She has to learn it for herself. I am just so scared for our future. I can't keep going like this. She is great one day and then off the wagon the next. I feel I have been really supportive and I feel bad for her but I also can't keep up with this chaos. Any words of wisdom would be helpful. I have found this site to be so great, I really appreciate it."

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry. Yes, alcohol is risky, in all the ways we can think of and then in ways like this, that are beyond comprehension. How devastating for both of you.

On the one hand, there is room to talk about the consequences of drug and alcohol use. This is one your partner will now have to live with. I am heartened that she is with supportive people. I hope the hospital can provide some emergency counseling. There is evidence that dealing with a trauma quickly can lessen its long-term impact.

On the other hand, rape can happen to anybody in any state of mind. To rape someone who is weakened by intoxication and vulnerable makes it even more cowardly. Rape is an act of aggression. It is used in wars as a way to degrade; it is used in peace as a way to degrade – it is an abuse of power and a way to power over. Your partner has been victimized. As someone who has been raped, has been in bad neighborhoods looking for drugs, and has been over-the-top intoxicated – I can tell you I still see both my rapes as an act distinct from my state of mind. I refuse to blame myself as though being in the wrong place or an altered state of mind had anything to do with the mind of a rapist.

I want to thank you for reading this site and for trying hard to help your partner. Not everyone would try. So to put this in terms of CRAFT: your partner has had a terrible scare that may cause her to look at her drinking with a renewed desire to stop. This scare may encourage her to seek more treatment, since AA hasn’t been enough to keep her stable. As her partner, you will want to help her in any way to engage and get that additional treatment.

And, finally, you may want to consider ways to address your needs: a counselor, perhaps a retreat, and a careful assessment of what you are willing to do and not to do when your partner drinks. It is extraordinarily exhausting to love someone with an addiction issue. Your partner understands she has a problem. She goes to AA. Despite what has just happened to her, your needs must be expressed and respected. Going forward, the conversation is how to keep you both safe, with her working on getting and staying sober and you finding ways to be better protected from the rollercoaster of your Loved One's addiction.

Working the Allies in Recovery eLearning program will help you to reinforce these principles and put them to action in your situation.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. Thank you so much, I am so grateful for your response, it is exactly what I needed to hear. I have a session with my therapist scheduled, and the hospital was fantastic with post-care referrals for the both of us. My partner is doing well too, she does seem to have a new renewed sense of urgency for staying sober.
    I right along have been doing the e-course and will continue to along with readjusting my exercises. I can’t state to you enough how great this e-course is. It’s practical, informative, and empathetic to the addict and the loved one watching just the same. The CRAFT method is a Godsend because it’s much more humane in my view. This isn’t an easy process, however I have learned so Much along the way.

    Thank you again for your time.