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Ask Amanda: How About a Category for Military Spouses?
- Mar 11, 2016
Q: Why is there no category [on DomesticShelters.org] for military spouses? With rising rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and service members going untreated, it feels like domestic violence is being swept under the rug on military bases nationwide. – Lisa C.
A: Creating a category for military service members and their spouses on DomesticShelters.org is a great idea, Lisa. We do try our best to stay on top of the topic because, you’re right, domestic violence in the military is widely underreported. As a military spouse myself, I know both the benefits of military life as well as some of the challenges that can come with traditional military culture. I know how it feels to be virtually isolated on a remote base and to endure the stress of your partner being gone frequently and for long periods of time, often leaving you in a new city where you don’t know anyone.
The article “Domestic Violence in the Military,” talks about your concerns. Service members with PTSD are up to three times more likely to be aggressive with their female partners than those without such trauma. And, no, we don’t hear about many of these cases of domestic violence. The reason being is often fear-based, either that reporting an abusive partner will prevent that military member from being promoted or lead to the end of their military career, which can mean losing the main source of income for the family. Or there may be a fear of retribution from the abuser. Military members and their spouses also often feel alone when relocated to new bases or foreign countries and aren’t sure who to turn to. The article talks about the different options survivors have to report abuse in the military, and how the Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program can help.
“I’m Being Abused in Another Country,” talks about an organization called American Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center that helps American citizens, including military members and spouses, overseas, access domestic violence services wherever they are.
We promise to cover more military-related domestic abuse issues in the future to help bring awareness to this very important topic.
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