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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2004;32(1):53-62.

Patterns of spouse and child maltreatment by discharged U.S. Army soldiers.

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  • 1Family Violence and Trauma Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814-4799, USA. jmccarroll@usuhs.mil

Abstract

The transitional compensation (TC) program of the U.S. Army provides financial and other benefits to the families of service members discharged for child or spouse maltreatment. We analyzed the TC records of the 347 offenders, 337 spouses (160 victims and 177 nonvictims) who were applicants for benefits, and 820 children (244 victims and 576 nonvictims). One hundred fifty-two spouses were physically abused and eight were sexually abused. One hundred eighty-two children were sexually abused, 61 were physically abused, and one was emotionally abused. The Army Central Registry (ACR) of child and spouse maltreatment cases was examined to determine whether the TC offenders and victims had a history of prior maltreatment and to assess its severity. Ninety percent of the TC offenders had an ACR history as child or spouse maltreatment offenders. Seventy-four percent of the TC child abuse victims had an ACR history as victims, and 81 percent of the TC spouse abuse victims had such a history. The severity of maltreatment in the ACR of TC child and spouse victims was greater than the overall severity of maltreatment for those in the ACR database who were not in the TC database. Other children in the family who had not been identified as TC victims also had an ACR history that was more severe. Health and social service agencies should be aware of the TC program and be knowledgeable about its benefits for family members of soldiers discharged for abuse-related offenses.

PMID:
15497630
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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