Military Domestic Violence
Domestic violence among families of military personnel is more prevalent than in civilian families and often fatal.
The New York Times, and other news outlets have reported countless incidents of violence by military personnel against their spouse and children after returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones. During several weeks in 2002, there were five homicides involving military personnel stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina alone. According to the Miles Foundation, as many as 1,000 spouses of military personnel are victimized each year.
For civilian victims of domestic violence perpetrated by a military service member
In addition to North Carolina’s law on domestic violence, there are additional resources for civilians who are married to military personnel.
The military may have jurisdiction to address the issue under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The military also offers a Family Advocacy System to address incidents of domestic violence. A victim should report incidents of domestic violence to the Family Advocacy System as soon as possible. Contact information for NC Family Advocacy Programs follow:
- Fort Bragg, NC
- Cherry Point, NC
- Camp Lejeune, NC
- Seymour Johnson Airforce Base, Goldsboro, NC
- Coast Guard Family Advocacy Program, Elizabeth City, NC
A military order of protection can be obtained and military personnel can be ordered to reside in barracks until the matter is fully investigated. Family Advocacy will assign a case worker to the victim and help the victim develop a safety plan. If the military member is discharged for the abuse of their spouse or child, the spouse is entitled to transitional financial payments under federal law. The victim may also qualify for a portion of the military member’s pension, if eligible, even if the military member was denied retirement.
For the wrongfully accused
Criminal conviction of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence can end a service member’s military career even if by a civilian court. The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968 makes it unlawful for anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence to possess firearms. The law applies to military personnel. If you have been wrongfully accused of committing acts of domestic violence, you need to see a licensed attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. A Domestic Violence (DV) conviction could end your military career regardless of rank.