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The Impact of Opioid Misuse on Domestic Violence Survivors and Their Children 

Project Summary

The current opioid epidemic has had an enormous impact on domestic violence (DV) agencies and survivors. Ohio’s agencies serving DV survivors in a residential setting currently lack statewide guidance on better addressing the needs of survivors who struggle with opioid addiction, while also providing a safe and healing environment. Our interdisciplinary research team, in collaboration with the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN)—the federally recognized statewide coalition of Ohio’s 72 DV service providers conducted a needs assessment-planning project to address opioid issues in service provision.


The first component of the project entailed conducting 7 focus groups with DV agencies’ staff (n=55) at a statewide summit hosted by ODVN. Information was obtained regarding challenges DV residential programs face when working with survivors using opioids and the types of support needed to better address opioid issues in service provision. The second component entailed conducting phone interviews with survivors (N=50) to examine prevalence estimates of opioid use of DV survivors in shelters and its impact on the lives of DV survivors and their children. Overall, findings will aid in the development of program recommendations on addressing the negative effects of opioid use on the well-being of DV survivors and their children in a residential setting. 

Co-Principal investigators: Susan Yoon, PhD & Cecilia Mengo, PhD (College of Social Work, OSU) 

Co-investigators: Julianna Nemeth, PhD (College of Public Health, OSU), Kathryn Lancaster, PhD (College of Public Health, OSU) 

Partners: The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) 

Funder: The Opioid Innovation Funds

Research Products: Research Brief

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