On February 15, 2008 the New York Times published an article entitled "When Strains on Military Families Turn Deadly" by Lizette Alvarex and Deborah Sontag. The article details the failure of the Department of Defense's Family Advocacy Program to protect the families of military personnel from domestic violence. The stress of war has exacerbated the pressure on our military personnel and has led to terrible, often fatal, acts of domestic violence.
The question is: How can these violent acts be prevented? I urge all lawyers who have any contact with and/or are representing family members of military personnel to read this article to the end. It's not easy. The cases described in the article are horrific.
And yet, as a civilian lawyer, you just might be the one to whom a military spouse reaches out. If so, you need to recognize when your client is depending upon your advocacy and advice for his or her life or limb. You need to be able to direct your clients to appropriate resources to help them protect themselves and their children. An earlier blog article, Domestic Violence | Guiding Victims |Supporting Survivors provides many resources you can give to your clients.
For more about the problem of domestic violence in military families and possible solutions, see this web page.
For information about divorce and military families, see Jeanne Hannah's website.
You may read the New York Times article here.
There are many agencies available to help women and their families to escape and/or to prevent family violence. See, for example:
Domestic violence resources ·
Tel. 415-954-9988, ext. 315 Email: email@example.com
National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A collection of news articles concerning domestic violence and sexual violence is found here on the website of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
If you need crisis help:
24-hour line: 888-664-8624
24-hour line: 248-334-1274
24-hour line: 734-995-5444
Detroit Police Department Rape Counseling Center and Domestic Violence
24-hour lines: 313-833-1660 or 313-833-9813
To contact Jeanne Hannah with your questions or to view her Family Law website, click here.