Mia, a 22-year-old Army wife, was stationed in Fort Benning with her husband, Joe, her 5-year-old daughter, and her 1-year-old son. She was married at 18 after having her first child. Mia grew up in a small town in Arkansas with her mother and two sisters. She has a high school diploma and previously worked as a cashier before meeting Joe. When they met, she fell instantly in love and she was thrilled about the opportunity to move out of her town and see the world. Joe was 8 years older than Mia and had been deployed twice to Afghanistan. He was born and raised by a military father and lived and breathed the Army values and codes. He tired of his wife depending so much on him, but he was willing to work through it.
Fort Benning was their first station and she was new to the military way of life. She was overwhelmed at first but became very comfortable with the other wives. She made fast friends with several of them. Her relationship with Joe seemed blissful, until he started to make demands about whom she was allowed to befriend or where she was allowed to go shopping. Also, Joe began to ask her to speak in a certain tone and not to argue with him over minor issues in the house. Mia started to feel confined and restless. During her second pregnancy, she was feeling uncomfortable as she lay in bed and asked Joe to get her a glass of water. He refused to get up and she had gotten angry. When he grew tired of her pleas, he flipped her over off the bed onto the floor, sat on her legs and punched her in the face. She never reported him. Three months later, he pushed her into a wall. She finally confided in another military spouse who also shared her own experiences with other military spouses suffering with abusive husbands.
For her, Fort Benning was her first duty post, and she was completely unfamiliar with the military way of life. She was initially intimidated by the other wives, but she quickly felt comfortable with them. She became fast friends with a number of these people. The beginning of her relationship with Joe appeared to be wonderful, until he began to make demands regarding whom she was permitted to befriend and where she was allowed to go shopping. Joe began to request that she talk in a certain tone and refrain from getting into fights with him over trivial matters around the house. Mia began to feel constrained and restless as the day progressed. Her second pregnancy was making her feel uneasy, so she requested Joe to go get her a drink of water as she lay in her bed throughout the night. He was refusing to get up, and she had become enraged. In response to her pleadings, he knocked her out of bed and onto the floor, seated himself on her legs, and hit her in the face. She never reported him to the authorities. His next move was to push her into a wall three months later. Eventually, she confided in another military spouse, who, in turn, shared her own experiences with other military spouses who were also dealing with violent husbands.
Domestic violence is not uncommon in military communities, and there are many stressors or factors that contribute to these situations outside of combat trauma. For this Discussion, review this week’s resources. Consider what stressors contribute to the prevalence of domestic violence.
By Day 3 (2 to 3 pages)
Post your perspective on why there is a high prevalence of domestic violence in the military. Provide a scholarly article to support your response. Describe two stressors outside of combat reactions that might contribute to domestic violence. Explain one way combat reactions might contribute to the prevalence of domestic violence. Finally, as a social worker, describe one aspect you might focus on to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence among military families.
Be sure to support your post with specific references to the resources. If you are using additional articles, be sure to provide full APA-formatted citations for your references.
Dick, G. (2014). Social work practice with veterans. Washington, D.C.: NASW Press.
Chapter 14, “Veterans and Substance Abuse” (pp. 227-244)
Chapter 15, “Homeless Veterans” (pp. 245-260)
Rubin, A., Weiss, E.L., & Coll, J.E. (2013). Handbook of military social work. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Chapter 12, “Assessing, Preventing, and Treating Substance Use Disorders in Active Duty Military Settings” (pp. 191-208)
Foran, H. M., Heyman, R. E., Slep, A. S., & Snarr, J. D. (2012). Hazardous alcohol use and intimate partner violence in the military: Understanding protective factors. Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors, 26(3), 471-483. doi:10.1037/a0027688
Williamson, E. (2012). Domestic abuse and militaryfamilies: The problem of reintegration and control. British Journal of Social Work, 42(7), 1371–1387.
Shen, Y., Arkes, J., & Williams, T. V. (2012). Effects of Iraq/Afghanistan deployments on major depression and substance use disorder: Analysis of active duty personnel in the US military. American Journal of Public Health, 102 Suppl. 1, 80–87.
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