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Domestic Violence within the US Military Essay

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Updated: Feb 13th, 2021

Powers, R. (2010). Military Domestic problems

Domestic violence is the perpetuation of hostility in homes usually between a man and a woman. Most of the domestic violence that occurs is done against female members. For the longest time, society has viewed domestic violence as a domestic matter that should only be solved by those who are involved in the conflict. Even the law only began to treat the issue seriously in the 1970s by defining perpetration of domestic violence as a crime and establishment strict judicial measures to try to reduce the cases of domestic violence. But after the 1970s domestic violence was recognized as a crime.

Domestic violence is classified under family and domestic violence. This has been sharply criticized under the view that it should be categorized as assault. 85% of domestic violence cases involve individuals with a close domestic relationship such as a marriage. The remaining 15% accounted for siblings or parental violence against their children. In most of the recorded domestic violence cases, females are mostly the victims of the dispute while the males are the aggressors of the violence.

A large proportion of individuals who experience domestic violence do not report the violence. This is attributed to various factors such as low emotional self-esteem for the victims. Most domestic violence victims feel as if they are guilty and as if they contributed to the dispute in one way or another. These kinds of feelings make it difficult for them to report cases of domestic violence (Powers, 2010, p. 1).

Beals, J. (2003). The Military response to domestic violence

Active duty members and immediate family members constitute up to 3.3 million individuals in the population of the United States. Some of these individuals have to live and cope with the perpetration and effects of domestic violence. The domestic violence experienced might be verbal, physical, sexual, or psychological. It has been cited that some aspects of military life can increase the risk of domestic violence in comparison to nonmilitary individuals. Military life includes constant deployment to various parts of the country. Constant duty change is a feature of military administration that has been maintained throughout history.

The location change might act as an isolation of the domestic violence victims away from their support networks such as close family members and friends. The military training also acts as a catalyst especially for people who might have a violent family background when they were young. Individuals who have been abused are more likely to abuse other individuals than those that have never been abused. Individuals in the military who have been involved in combat are more likely to be perpetrators of violence in comparison to those individuals that have not been in combat. Combat causes individuals in the military to experience high-stress levels which they might try to cope with through violence perpetration.

Victims of domestic abuse in the military might persevere the violent behavior of their spouses or family members because they are afraid of the outcome if they involve the authorities. This is especially true for spouses who might lack an alternative source of income. For example, a woman who is facing domestic violence might be afraid of reporting her abusive husband to the authorities in fear that he will lose his job. If the unemployed woman reported her husband and he lost his job, the family would have no means of sustaining their livelihood (Beals, 2000, p. 1).

Erez, E. (2002). Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice: An overview

When violence occurs in military families, most of the military administration feels that nothing substantial happens. Most of the time, victims of the violence especially the women feel that they might put their spouses’ careers at risk so they are not elaborate in the events that domestic violence cases transpire. Most military wives seek ways through which the violence could stop without affecting their husbands’ careers. In other cases, the male part of the dispute could be the victim. Such an individual might not want to report the matter to the authorities because he feels uncomfortable with how such a case would appear to his peers.

In a case where the husband is the victim and the wife is a civilian, the military may not have any control over the situation. Cases of domestic violence are dealt with in different ways if the abuser is in the military. The military official can however report the issue to the appropriate authority who can rightfully deal with the civilian abuser. In the first case, rehabilitative measures are put in place for the victim. The second method of dealing with the victim involves the use of the military justice system. The rehabilitative system is known as an advocacy system and it involves identifying, intervening, and treating the perpetrator of violence.

The family advocacy system does not have any confidentiality laws such as those that are provided between lawyers, doctors, chaplains, and their clients. Information that is obtained from family advocacy meetings is usually used against the abusers in court proceedings against these abusers. For domestic violence incidents that may take place outside the jurisdiction of the military, the family advocacy unit still needs to be notified so that they can take the necessary action to rehabilitate the abuser. Domestic violence perpetrators might face stern action such as discharge from the military (Erez, 2000, p. 1).

Kozaryn, L. (2000). When Violence Happens: American Forces Press Service

Caseworkers are usually assigned to cases of domestic violence which are reported on base involving members of the military. The first goal of the caseworker is to ensure that the victim is safe. The case is usually then presented before a panel of military officials, base medical personnel members of the military chaplaincy, and representatives from the family advocacy unit. The victim(s) is usually protected throughout the hearing process.

The committee hears evidence from the necessary personnel such as from the medical personnel and then makes a ruling based on that evidence. Based on the given recommendation, the Commander at base camp decides on the action to be taken against the military officer (Kozaryn, 2000, p. 1).

The military officer might be ordered into rehabilitation through talk therapy, face sanctions, or even get dishonorably discharged from the military. Abused wives of military officers fear that their husbands might get dishonorably discharged or even get demoted. Research findings show that military officials who have domestic charges against them are less likely to be promoted in comparison to individuals who have never had domestic abuse charges leveled against them.

Domestic violence cases that are reported to civilian authorities are appropriately handled by the authorities. Military officers who are charged with domestic abuse even for misdemeanor face possible dishonorable discharging from the military. A criminal record in the military is taken very seriously and seen as portraying the whole military in a negative light. Therefore, the military does as much as possible to minimize the negative exposure.

Montgomery, N. (2011). Reports of Family Violence, abuse Within Military Rise

The family advocacy depart of the military in the United States has reported that there has been an increase in the number of individuals reporting domestic violence. The department is at a loss of the rising cases. Some individuals feel that the numbers of people who are reporting the abuse have risen. In 2008, the number of individuals reporting spousal abuse in military families was estimated to be 9.4 % out of every one thousand individuals in the army.

The number went up to 10.1% out of every one thousand people. 11.2 % of every one thousand individuals in the military reported spousal abuse in the military. 16 deaths are said to have been reported in 1989 alone as a consequence of domestic violence. 81 % of the perpetrators of these crimes were men who were serving in the military. The number of children that were being mistreated in military homes rose from 4.8 % between 2008 and 2009 to 5.7% in 2009. Cases of neglect have also been on the increase.

The neglect has been linked to the stress that the spouse has to deal with because they feel abandoned by the spouse who has gone for combat. The result is that children are not given enough attention from their parents. The increase in abuse has been linked to prolonged combat exposure. There is an increase in the number of soldiers who do not know how to deal with post-traumatic stress related to combat. Some of those officers take out the stress on their spouses in the form of domestic violence (Montgomery, 2011, p. 1).

Reference List

Beals, J. (2003).The Military response to domestic violence. Tools for civilian advocates. Web.

Erez, E. (2002).Domestic Violence and Criminal Justice: An overview. The online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Web.

Kozaryn, L. (2000). When Violence Happens. American Forces Press Service. Web.

Montgomery, N. (2011). Reports of Family Violence, abuse Within Military Rise. Military.com News. Web.

Powers, R. (2010). Military Domestic problems. About.com, U.S. military. Web.

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