Abuse, ‘a silent problem’
The busiest part of Frances Maxwell’s workload begins around October.
“Now through Christmas is going to be tough. October is the start,” said Maxwell, Army Community Service prevention specialist, who sees the most domestic violence cases the last three months of the calendar year.
Ironically, October is domestic violence prevention month.
“We really need to get to it before there are a lot of problems,” said Veola Peters, victim advocate program manager, who also deals with domestic violence and sexual assault issues.
When Maxwell reviewed the cases she’d had in mid- September, she could only shake her head. So many families have tremendous problems, she said. Compound their problems with multiple deployments and the issues Soldiers face, things only get worse for some.
And abuse comes in many forms, said Peters and Maxwell.
It doesn’t have to be a broken bone or black eye.
“Abuse can be emotional, psychological, spiritual,” Maxwell said.
Also, it’s not just women who are abused. Maxwell said men can be abused as well.
One problem with abuse is it’s a silent problem. People don’t want to report it.
“The reason a spouse will stay with an abuse is they can’t see a way out,” Peters said.
Military spouses move frequently, and finding jobs with little education and experience is difficult. Add in small children who require expensive care, and the situation can seem impossible, she said.
Also, there is a stigma related to requesting mental health services, said Peters.
There are many options for receiving services including military one source and military and family life consultants.
In conjunction with domestic violence prevention month, there are two special events.
At 11 a.m., Oct. 6, at the Gordon Club’s Victoria Room, Robert Spoo, chief of plans, analysis and integration office, will speak about the impact domestic violence had on his life and the life of his sister. Also, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12, attorney Shawn Hammond will present a seminar at Darling Hall. Hammond is a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.