Domestic abuse: Navy needs better policy
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:51 PM
This is a response to Greg Fischers June 21 Soundoff column in the Whidbey News-Times titled Navy Takes care of its own.
Reporter Jessie Stenslands story pointed out there are no set rules. The service members command is responsible for taking action. This permits the action to be biased based on the commands feelings about the member, rather than the facts.
Some abusers go through the Navys anger management class and men ending violence course. People with a long history of violence are not going to benefit from group therapy. In fact it provides them with more tools. In most cases they suffer from anti-social disorders from deep seated issues that started in childhood. Long-term abusers develop skills of charm and manipulation that make it hard for the victim because people are sucked into the charm of the abuser.
The Navy must change their system of handling domestic violence. They are in a unique position to make a significant difference. What happened to Mrs. Brown should have been stopped a long time ago. The Navy may take care of its own, as Mr. Fischer writes, but it sometimes protects and covers for them. In abuse cases its inappropriate!
Have you ever been a prisoner of your own home, Mr. Fischer? Afraid to leave your family unattended? Have you ever dropped to your knees the minute you heard a particular vehicle pulling in the driveway to pray that nothing bad would happen this day? Have you ever lived in fear?
I dont write this to bash the Navy. The Navy is an important part of our economy and an intricate part of our military forces. I write it because I care about people, all people. Things need to change in both the Navy and civilian sector. The military is the largest employment agency in the United States. Do you complain to Seattle papers when they point out something bad about Boeing or Microsoft? The Navy being a large part of this community doesnt give it the right to be protected and coddled from news. Its a well-known fact that long term domestic violence often results in a serious and volatile ending.
The article about Mrs. Brown brought forth true facts. Its not an isolated problem unique to just her case. In the past year Ive found three other individuals by accident that were treated the same way. How many Mrs. Browns does there have to be before something is done? My goal is that there not be even one more.
Its a statistical fact that children that grow up in abusive families are more likely to become abusive adults. I dont think the military should be applauded for protecting the service member in order to take care of their own, thereby pushing our youth further down this path to continue the cycle as adults.