Safety and Sobriety Manual
Best Practices in Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse

January 2005


Introduction:  2005 Edition

The Domestic Violence-Substance Abuse Task Force has continued to meet since the publication of the first Best Practices Manual in 2000. This group of individuals remains dedicated to the philosophy that victim safety is paramount. They have not wavered from this in their work. The task force has evolved from looking at why domestic violence and substance should be addressed as co-occurring issues to how the issues can be addressed in a variety of programs. Over the last five years, the members of the task force have dedicated their time, talents, and resources to enhancing services to those in need.

With a great deal of support and coordination by the lllinois Department of Human Services (Bureau of Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention and the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse), the Task Force hosted Safety and Sobriety Conferences in 2000 and 2001. The conferences again brought together a cross-section of providers from throughout both the domestic violence and substance abuse treatment fields. These professionals came together to share their insights, their successes, and their tribulations. Counselors, therapists, advocates, and others came to learn from one another on how to best meet the needs of individuals whose lives are affected by both substance abuse and domestic violence. They learned from one another and found others in related fields who shared their concerns and aspirations.

Another result of the work of the task force and the lllinois Department of Human Services was the Substance Abuse/Domestic Violence Pilot Initiative. lllinois recognized the need for integrated services for women. A later chapter in this manual provides an overview of the pilots, a review of the literature on the topic of the co-occurrence of domestic violence and substance abuse, and an examination of project evaluations and its findings.

In 2002, the task force, under the direction of Larry Bennett, Chair, undertook the monumental task of updating the Best Practices Manual. The task force was assisted by Karen Gill, DHS staff, and Jeanne Hansen, DASA staff. Their dedication and commitment to the project was exceptional. The Best Practices Manual is the product of a great deal of research, study, and sweat of many members of the task force. Along with revising the manual, DHS staff undertook the development of training materials on domestic violence and substance abuse. These materials provide another means of getting information to those in the field who need basic information on the issues confronted by professionals in both arenas. The training materials are invaluable resource in conjunction with the Best Practices Manual.

Margaret M. Morrison, MS. Ed., J.D.
ADV & SAS, Streator, lllinois

Note: The opinions expressed in this document are those of the lllinois Domestic Violence-Substance Abuse Interdisciplinary Task Force and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the lllinois Department of Human Services or any of its constituent offices, bureaus, or programs. This document is not intended as legal advice and programs should consult with their own attorneys on all such matters.