Trigger warning: The content contains mention of domestic violence, r*p*, s*x*al violence, and emotional abuse. Reader’s discretion is advised.
Intimate partner violence or IPV is a national public health issue. It’s a form of domestic violence where a current or former spouse inflicts physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, and economic abuse on the partner they’re in an intimate relationship with.
Statistics show that 24 people per minute are subjected to intimate partner violence in the form of rape and physical violence in the United States. It’s a crime characterized by escalation and recidivism—meaning that the perpetrator is likely to repeat the abuse, and with more intensity over time.
Intimate partner abuse in military families is also common. In 2018, the DOD reported over 17,000 incidents of intimate partner violence. Some of these even resulted in fatalities of the perpetrators or the victims.
IPV not only results in physical and mental trauma for the victims of abuse, but also for the children who witness the abuse. It has both immediate and long-term health effects, along with significant costs to society.
Let’s delve deeper into the issue of IPV and how you can help military families that have undergone similar circumstances.
Intimate Partner Violence in Military Families
Intimate partner violence is a significant social issue within the military population. It’s caused by several factors that include psychological disorders like posttraumatic stress disorder.
Statistics show that the prevalence of IPV in military couples isn’t a new phenomenon. Along with psychological factors, IPV is also caused by external factors such as stress due to financial and economic hardships like unemployment.
Common Themes and Statistics about IPV in Military Families
The military culture and environment are dominated by male-centered norms and machismo, where verbal aggression is a part of everyday life—as such, extrapolating these attitudes in interpersonal relationships with one’s family life isn’t uncommon. Many often find it hard to switch on and off between their home environment and the military culture, which leads to a high prevalence of emotional and psychological problems that ultimately leads to IPV.
A few studies exploring the perpetration of sexual IPV have found a higher prevalence among men than women. Another study of sexual IPV perpetration among female military service members showed a lower prevalence of sexually assaultive behavior than men. The high rates of sexual IPV perpetration in military personnel are also closely linked to alcohol abuse and hyper-masculinity traits.
Other studies conducted on the prevalence of IPV show that there’s a higher prevalence among lower-rank personnel compared to higher-rank officers. This isn’t surprising due to a plethora of research indicating that lower-rank military personnel in the USA exhibit violent behavior due to their poor sociodemographic circumstances.
How Does IPV Affect Military Families?
Intimate partner violence can lead to a range of problems for the victims (spouses) and the witnesses (young children) of abuse.
It’s injurious to their mental and physical health and can lead to chronic pain, gynecological problems, depression, gastrointestinal problems, PTSD, and even death. There’s also a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases due to increased levels of stress. Additionally, IPV can lead to lower family cohesiveness and more family conflict.
These findings suggest that IPV is a significant issue among military personnel with severe repercussions that may even surpass generations. Research and preventative measures shouldn’t only focus on individual acts of IPV, but also the impact it has on the victims.
If you want to donate to military families that have undergone these unfortunate circumstances, get in touch with We Are One Inc.
Our charitable organization has various military assistance programs to financial help to veterans and emergency assistance for military families in San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties in Southern California.
You can make individual donations and corporate donations to our organization to help improve the lives of countless service members and their families during as they battle various issues.
Find out more about their military support organization in Los Angeles and donate to military families by getting in touch with We Are One Inc. at 949.988.0077.