Military families are often not unfamiliar with domestic violence. With multiple deployments in recent years, many military families may be coping with increased hardship and extraordinary stress on intimate partner and family relationships. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reported that military calls more than tripled nationwide between 2006 and 2011.
As a victim of domestic violence living in a military family, you face all of the same risks as other victims, but may also face some additional concerns and barriers. First and foremost, your abuser is professionally trained to control others, which can be very intimidating. Additionally, you may:
- Feel guilt that your abuser’s job has resulted in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other emotional /psychological disabilities and that the abuse isn’t really his/her fault
- Feel isolated from family and friends due to frequent relocation
- Fear that reporting the abuse will result in the loss of your abuser’s job or other consequences if s/he is still enlisted
- Fear a loss of military benefits
- Have a prior history of domestic violence in either your family or your abuser’s family (Battered Women’s Justice Project reports that a high percentage of military personnel witnessed parental abuse prior to enlistment.)
You should know that no matter what, you have the right to live a life free from abuse. If you believe you are a victim of abuse, please contact your local domestic violence agency by calling the statewide, toll-free domestic violence hotline at (888) 774-2900. While there are some situations when military social workers or other personnel cannot keep what you tell them confidential, please know that anything you say to our victim advocates is strictly confidential.
Assisting military families experiencing domestic violence involves a partnership between the military family advocacy centers, victim service providers, law enforcement, faith-based community members, educators, local and state government, and the community.
CCADV is committed to improving services for military families. We work with our community partners to provide training to law enforcement, victim advocates, and community members regarding the dynamics of domestic violence in the military, strategies to identify victims of domestic violence, and the traumatic effects of domestic violence on victims.
Navy Sub Base New London Support Services: Naval Submarine Base Fleet and Family Support Center has a number of programs available to help family members and single Sailors. This includes counseling and victim assistance, as well as access to the Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate.
CT Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services Military Support Program: The Military Support Program provides an array of behavioral health services to Connecticut’s veterans, citizen soldiers and their family members. This includes a panel of over 425 licensed clinicians who provide, free, confidential outpatient counseling services.
Alliance of Military & Veteran Family Behavioral Health Providers – Domestic Violence Resource Guide: The Alliance seeks to optimize the preparedness of behavioral health providers working to enhance the resilience, recovery and reintegration of Service members, Veterans, and their Family members and communities throughout the military, post-military, and family life cycles. The Guide offers many resources, including military and non-military supports for military families experiencing domestic violence.