ï»¿Family Advocacy Program
The Department of Defense implemented a Family Advocacy Program (FAP) in 1976 to help military members and their families work through problems that many families face while serving in the military. Being in the military can be a stressful job for many and can cause tension within families. Sadly, some people cannot cope well with stress and tend to take it out on their spouses. FAP offers counseling to these families in hopes that they can resolve stress and tension before violence erupts, and in many cases, they offer counseling after the fact to help the victim recover the trauma whether physical or emotional.
The Family Advocacy Program reaches men and ...view middle of the document...
Domestic violence, as defined by FAP, is violence and/or emotional abuse by one person in a relationship in order to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. FAP offers counseling and safety for victims in domestic violence cases.
The military recognized domestic assault as a problem and decided that something had to be done to stop it. Many times, domestic violence was not reported because the victim didnâ€™t want to hurt the career of the attacker. The military saw this as a problem and has tried to help with the situation. The military will still investigate and it could possibly still hurt the service memberâ€™s career, however, if the abuser is willing to get help, the military offers that option to him/her.
The military tries to prevent domestic violence from occurring. This is why FAP was begun. The military recognizes that in the majority of family violence cases, problems have been brewing and left unattended, thus setting the stage for abuse. When a spouse confides about a marital issue, it can be a sign of stress or problems in the home. The goal of FAP is to take those concerns into treatment and intervention before violence begins. Prevention is the best means for addressing family violence and that is the military policy. However, the policy of prevention doesnâ€™t always work when no one knows what is going on in the home. (GAO Report, p 8).
Many cases of domestic violence are not reported and many times victims donâ€™t seek help. The goal of FAP is to prevent violence so if problems arenâ€™t voiced, then potential victims cannot be helped. The military is making changes in order to keep domestic violence cases down. At the same time, the military is making it easier, and more confidential, for victims to come forward about their abusers (Lugendorf, et al, p 705). Once a victim comes forward, there is help available but if they do not come forward, there is little that can be done. Domestic violence happens so much in the military that the Department of Defense has made it an item of specific concern. First Sergeants and military police absolute hate domestic call-outs because the solutions are never clear cut. More often than not, the victims of domestic violence refuse to cooperate because they perceive a threat to their spouse's career. Military is trying to work with families to help them rather than ending the military memberâ€™s career and leaving them to the wind. The military has seen that many offenders can be helped through counseling. Many times, the stresses of life are what drives them to violence. The behavior of military personnel in and out of the workplace needs to remain on a professional level (Zeigler and Gunderson, p 112). When service members and family members feel like that can confide and seek help without reprimand, there is a greater increase of people coming in...