A career in the military can be highly stressful at times. Training, deployment and being separated from one’s Family can negatively impact a service member’s personal life.
Some barriers that service members face are trouble with finances, domestic issues and adjusting to everyday life after a deployment. However, more serious issues can arise, such as child abuse, partner abuse and child neglect if proper training is not implemented.
A recent poll shows that over 400 Soldiers at Fort Bragg have open Family Advocacy Program cases and, therefore, will require a waiver to deploy. For over 36 years, the Family Advocacy Program has worked to prevent and respond to child abuse, neglect, and domestic abuse in military Families. FAP offers several classes and training for service members and their Families. These classes and trainings have been proven to help decrease the number of open FAP cases and increase warfighter readiness.
“Training does reduce the cases of child neglect and violence,” stated Scott Chase child/partner abuse specialist, Army Community Services.
Soldiers should be assisted in getting help with Family reintegration when they come home from a deployment. It is mandatory for Soldiers to attend at least one training child/partner abuse and child neglect focused class upon return from a deployment. AR 608-18 requires all Commanders and Senior Leaders be trained within 45 days of assuming command or leadership position.
AR 608-18 requires all Soldiers be trained by Family Advocacy annually via prevention education.
According to MilitaryOneSource.mil, the DOD is committed to keeping children safe and healthy and to doing all that they can to prevent child abuse and neglect and domestic abuse/intimate partner violence in military communities.
Recognizing the signs of abuse and neglect can also assist in decreasing the number of open child abuse and neglect and domestic abuse cases if the signs are recognized early. MilitrayOneSource.mil states that the DOD defines child abuse as injury to, maltreatment of or neglect of a child by a parent, guardian or caregiver so that the child's welfare is harmed or threatened.
Child abuse generally falls into one of the following four categories: Neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. When it comes to partner abuse, the signs of domestic abuse encompass a range of controlling behaviors.
FAP also takes step to help the offenders as well as the victims. Once reports of child abuse and neglect or domestic abuse are received by FAP, they are taken to the Incident Determination Committee to determine whether the incident meets criteria for abuse, as defined by DOD.
If the committee determines that the case is legitimate, they will proceed by taking steps to help the individual such as counseling, classes and other resources that can help.
FAP offers many classes that can assist, such as Stress Management, Living with Anger, Positive Discipline, etc. Registration is free, and classes are available to suit flexible schedules.
The trained specialists that instruct these courses evaluate each individual circumstance differently. This gives the educators the ability to assess every person involved and find ways to understand the issues and help find solutions.
For more information, you can call 391-9171 or go to www.Bragg.ArmyMWR.com/Programs/ACS. ACS now has an application that can be downloaded on a smart phone providing better access to classes and information about the programs.