***As a safety precaution, if you find yourself in an abusive situation it is recommended that you read this article in your browser’s Incognito Mode or delete history after reading. Additionally, consider pre-programming the Helpline number in your phone under a different name. ***
No one marries with the intention of divorce. Yet sometimes, through the veil of youth, innocence, love, naivety or fear, we marry someone who is not only wrong for us but also is a danger to our well-being.
We don’t always see it — sometimes problems develop throughout the relationship, or perhaps it was always there and was initially kept hidden.
We want you to know that you are not alone and that you have options.
Military and Domestic Abuse
It is a fact — military life is stressful. The job itself can bring about dangerous situations, stress, times of family separation and PTSD. It is a fact that many service members return home from deployment and are changed by what they have experienced. Although an adjustment period is to be expected, violence and abuse towards you or your children are not.
Here are some eye-opening statistics on abuse in military relationships, courtesy of domesticshelters.org:
- Male combat veterans with PTSD are 2 to 3 times more likely to abuse their female counterparts than veterans not suffering PTSD.
- Nine out of ten combat veterans with PTSD admitted to being psychologically aggressive with their partner in the past year.
Keep in mind that abuse is a victim-reported crime, and most of it goes unreported.
Understand The Risk
If you find yourself in a similar situation — no matter the root cause — it is important to know that your safety and the safety of your children is paramount. If you are unsure where to start:
- Take this online threat assessment. Are you in danger? Find out here: https://www.mosaicmethod.com/
- Are you afraid of the financial impact of leaving? Read: When You Can’t Afford to Leave an Abusive Partner. For military-specific information, please read: The Facts About Abuse in Military Families.
- Want to better understand the reality? Read “Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft.
Victim Advocacy: How To Get Help
If you find yourself in an abusive situation, please reach out for help. Here are some vital resources:
- Military OneSource Domestic Abuse Reporting Options
- Locate your nearest Family Advocacy Program through Army Community Service with Military INSTALLATIONS
- Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline via chat or call at 800-799-SAFE (7233)
- Locate a shelter through DomesticShelters.org
I’d like to give thanks to the former milspouse who escaped her abusive marriage and inspired this article. She found the strength and courage to do it — using some of the resources above — and so can you. I wish her the gifts of freedom, happiness, and healing as she continues on her newfound path.
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