For the love of Pete, please, Army spouses, understand that you CAN report domestic abuse in your home WITHOUT your soldier losing their career!
Army policy may require counseling, classes, and interviews, but your report WILL NOT ruin their career. Hell, the Army may mark your report as “unsubstantiated” like they did my first one, and absolutely NOTHING WILL HAPPEN to your soldier.
You see, the Army learned the hard way that putting soldiers out of the military (killing their careers) increases their anger AT THEIR FAMILY. These soldiers leave the Army and the abuse at home increases – or someone (likely you) ends up DEAD.
The only way my husband’s career will come to an end is IF he does something (else) to piss off his command. He could be disciplined for not being financially responsible to us. He could be disciplined for breaking his no-contact order. He could be disciplined for disobeying an order (just like always!), but the MOST he will receive out of my report is a poor counseling statement. He may not even get THAT.
And for God’s sake, please understand that if you report HIM because HE IS ABUSING YOU, then you have done nothing WRONG. Think about it. The Army marginalizes us spouses/families for the most part…how in the HELL are we powerful enough to end a man’s career?!
Besides, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t we talking about abuse here? Who’s fault is THAT?
Whatever. I’ve talked to the Social Services in the Army hospital in 2008, during domestic violence group meetings between then and now, and on Friday. I know that “what I’ve done” is not a career killer for HIM, but if I don’t get help, then it could be a life killer for ME.
Report it. Report it. Report it.
(*If you press criminal charges in your county and your abuser is found guilty, s/he will most likely be put out of the Army, but not in all cases. It’s the law in your state that can damage his career. If he’s found guilty of domestic violence charges and he cannot own or carry a weapon, the military will put him out. However, the Army (not sure about the other branches) will give you and your children $1600/month and health insurance for three years. No retirement, of course. Consult the military branch you’re affiliated with and an attorney familiar with the military.)