At the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Substance Use: Hope, Healing, and Advocacy for Family Justice Centers


This toolkit was brought to you in collaboration with Family Justice Center Alliance.

Course description:

Many survivors of domestic and sexual violence are exposed to substance use, either through their own use, the use of a partner or ex-partner, or both. Substance use is often used both as a coping mechanism of (by) a survivor and a method of coercion by the abusive partner. Historically, substance use services have generally not been included as onsite partners at Family Justice Centers (FJC). Often, substance use service providers have not been invited into the FJC framework because such programs are not perceived as “survivor-centered.”

Similarly, substance use programs have historically seen themselves as separate from victim-centered service programs, and they generally serve both people who have been victimized and people who cause harm. Today, however, there is a growing understanding of trauma, health behaviors, and coping responses, and with it, an opportunity for creating transformational change in the provision of more holistic, hope-centered, and trauma-informed substance use advocacy and services in Family Justice Centers.

This toolkit was developed in conjunction with and serves as an accompaniment to an 8-part Virtual Learning Series. This series explores the role of substance use in the lives of survivors and offers a framework and resources for nurturing hope in FJC clients who experience substance use as part of the trauma or victimization they face from an abusive partner.

Your Instructors:

G.zapata Bw

Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC
Associate Director,
National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, & Mental Health



Raeanne Passantino

Raeanne Passantino
Former Assistant Director, Family Justice Center Alliance
Alliance for HOPE International




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