How do radical changes in family systems impact the well-being of family members and the consequent need for services?
The role of families as a part of the war effort in the history of the United States has evolved in many ways, and has remained relatively the same in others. It has evolved in the sense that the “camp followers” of the Revolutionary War have been replaced by the officially recognized dependents of the military, even afforded some services after combatants have completed their tours of duty. The most significant aspect of the material in Chapter 18, however, is the recognition throughout our history that family is important in the process of fighting wars. The way in which the government and military establishment have responded to family needs has changed, but the recognition of the family’s importance has remained a very real consideration in the way wars are conducted. However, while this may be true, the reality is that despite the fact that the importance of this social institution should be a top priority within the military culture, it is not always ideally responded to in regards to needs. Chapter 19 makes it clear that the armed forces are aware of the needs of military families, but they are not always a priority. There are not enough resources to do everything and people do not always use the resources that are available. The chapter documents a variety of family support programs, but also cites higher than average rates for family distress and divorce. It suggests that domestic violence and child abuse are issues, but apparently that research has not yet been done or reported. The deployment cycle is obviously replete with family crises. There is much work for social workers to do. In answering the call, I added the study of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) also known as domestic violence to my research agenda a few years ago. My vision to expose this public health issue was realized in October 2019 when my publication was launched. I contemplated presenting it to this class during October, Domestic Violence Awareness month but decided to delay the introduction until the family focused chapters were discussed due to the fact that the comprehensive content within the book contributes to the literature gap that exists with this very sensitive and overlooked issue. I have included the link to the book below where you will be afforded an opportunity to “look inside” and read the contents from beginning to the end of the 1st chapter. The military chapter 9, was written by LTC (Retired) Sammie L. Davis, Jr. A version of the chapter is posted above. The chapter that pertains to couples therapy is also pertinent to IPV. IPV is about relationships gone awry. It is a complex issue that requires complex solutions. Adapting to change and growth is one of the requirements for any long-term relationship. Whether in a marriage or some other form of partnership with commitment, military couples must learn and act upon this important lesson. It is also especially difficult to adapt to change as a result of trauma. Keep this statement in mind as you discuss this week’s topic.
The 21st Century Crisis of Intimate Partner Violence Among African American Male Victims: Up Close and Personal with an Unnoticed Population