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When Love Hurts: A Look At Domestic Violence In The Military

2265 words - 9 pages

When Love Hurts1When Love Hurts:A Look at Spousal Abuse in the MilitaryPsychology 101When Love Hurts2When Love Hurts:A Look at Spousal Abuse in the MilitaryDomestic violence is a serious problem in America. According to Roleff et al (2000), it is estimated that every fifteen seconds a person is abused by their spouse or live-in partner. Nearly half of the nation's couples, whether married or unmarried, have had some type of violent dispute.(p16) Domestic abuse can take many forms. It may be hitting, slapping, or shoving a person. It may be controlling behavior such as; hiding car keys from someone so they cannot go to work, taking car keys and checkbooks with them to work so as to leave the other person stranded, listening in on phone conversations, or reading a person's email. It is a pattern of behavior typified by one person in a relationship trying to gain power or control over the other through fear and intimidation. Hasenauer (1997) reports that spousal abuse can happen to both men and women, however women make up most of the victims and are more likely to suffer serious injuries. (p34)Moniz (2002b) states that between May and July of 2003, four military wives, whose husbands were stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, were murdered by their husbands. Three of the four husbands had recently returned from deployments in Afghanistan. (n.p.) These killings shocked a nation and turned a spotlight of controversy on the Armed Forces. Some in the public believe that the military is just a group of patriarchal good old boys who would gladly turn a blind eye in order to cover another soldier's back. They believe that the military only cares about it's soldiers, and not their soldiers' dependents. TheWhen Love Hurts 3military may be trying to implement new programs in order to change it's image, but the fact remains, if you are a military wife, you are three times more likely to suffer abuse than your civilian counterpart. (Moniz 2002a n.p.) Life in the military is rough. It comes with it's own unique stressors which may aggravate spousal abuse to levels unseen in the civilian population.In military and civilian homes alike, the same 3-stage cycle of abuse is followed. According to Walker (1979) this cycle begins at what is commonly labeled the "tension-building stage". It is a time of minor conflicts that may seem to escalate for no reason. There may be some physical abuse. This stage may last for a few hours or a few months. The victim is aware of the mounting tension and tries to be on his or her best behavior. Inevitably, one of these minor conflicts will escalate into a major episode of violence, this is considered stage two. Once an attack starts, there is usually little that the victim can do to stop it. After the violent episode comes a period of remorse, stage three. The abuser feels ashamed and guilty, and promises that it will never happen again. The abuser may shower the victim with gifts and be on his/her best behavior, but sooner or later, the...

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