Domestic violence is not a matter to take lightly. It affects everyone in the household. As a child, I grew up in a household where my mother was a victim of domestic violence. I can tell you first hand that’s no way for a child to grow up. It’s not a safe and loving environment at all. “Staying for the kids” only does more harm than good. I can tell you as an adult, I have struggled with high anxiety, and post traumatic stress like symptoms. It took me many years of being out of the environment I grew up in, and in a stable, loving environment to be able to move forward. I’d be lying if I said I was completely over it. I’m now 30 and have been living away from home since I was 19. This is how truly damaging domestic violence can be to your children.
As an Army spouse, I have been hearing more and more about domestic violence. It seems that incidents among our military families is on the rise with the stresses of multiple deployments and the effects of war on our soldiers over the last eight years. Every time I go to our clinic for a doctor appointment now, I am asked if I feel fearful of my home environment. Some people may find these screenings annoying, but I’m glad our nurses take the 30 seconds to ask. They may hit on someone who really does need help through this screening process.
In the military, we have the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) to help victims of domestic violence. As an extra measure to protect victims and to encourage them to seek help, they can file a restricted report with FAP. This allows them to report domestic violence by a service member to specified people without starting a law enforcement or command investigation. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please contact your local FAP office or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE)
On October 27 at 3pm EST, Military One Source is hosting a Fighting Fairly chat. You can join and interact with other members of our military community. We all have disagreements in our relationships, but this chat will focus on how to be disrespectful during those times where you have differing opinions.