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The Stress Continuum Model
Navy leaders may encounter sailors experiencing distress as a result of domestic and child abuse. Abuse is preventable and is often treatable if addressed promptly. Through prevention, Navy leaders can promote family resilience and sailor mission readiness. Therefore, knowing how to prevent abuse and respond to reports of abuse is crucial to mission readiness.
This section will provide Navy leaders with the tools necessary to identify acts of abuse; respond appropriately to reports; and incorporate awareness and prevention efforts within their commands.
Domestic Abuse: May include acts of violence, domestic violence, or a pattern of behavior resulting in emotional/psychological abuse and economic control, used to gain or maintain power and control over:
Domestic abuse cuts across all age groups and social classes. It happens to sailors as well as spouses; to men as well as women. Whenever an adult is placed in physical danger or controlled by threat or use of physical force by their spouse or intimate partner, she or he has been abused.
Domestic Violence: An offense under the United States Code, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or state law that involves the non-accidental use, attempted use, or threatened use of force or violence against a person of the opposite sex.
Examples of Domestic Violence (commonly referred to as physical abuse) include but are not limited to:
Examples of Emotional/Psychological Abuse include but are not limited to:
Spouse or Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse: A sexual act or sexual contact with the spouse or intimate partner, without the consent of the spouse or intimate partner, or against the expressed wishes of the spouse or intimate partner. Corroboration of the report of the spouse or intimate partner is NOT required.
Examples of Spouse or Intimate Partner Sexual Abuse include but are not limited to:
Although certain risk factors may make a person more likely to commit abuse or be a victim of abuse, risk factors alone do not cause domestic abuse. Many experts believe that domestic abuse is a learned behavior reinforced by society or culture. Many Sailors and their family members who experience risk factors cope well and are not abusive to their spouse. Some risk factors commonly associated with domestic abuse are:
Physical Abuse: The non-accidental use of physical force on the part of a child’s caregiver. Examples of child physical abuse include, but are not limited to:
Child Emotional Abuse: The non-accidental use of physical force on the part of a child's caregiver.
Child Sexual Abuse: Sexual activity by a caregiver with a child to gratify the sexual desire of any person including the child.
Some examples include:
Child Neglect: The negligent treatment of a child through acts or omissions below the lower bounds of normal care giving, which shows a striking disregard for the child's well-being under circumstances indicating the child's welfare has been harmed or threatened by the deprivations of age-appropriate care. Examples include but are not limited to:
Although certain risk factors may make a person more likely to commit child abuse, risk factors alone do not cause a parent or caretaker to abuse a child. Many experts believe that child abuse is a learned behavior reinforced by society or culture and is often precipitated by stress and compounded by social isolation. Many Sailors and their family members who experience risk factors cope well and are not abusive to their children. Some risk factors commonly associated with child abuse are:
The Command plays a significant role in the prevention of abuse by establishing clear standards for personal behavior, providing early detection of potential problems and intervention before abuse occurs. Leadership is critical in establishing a climate that promotes prevention by encouraging sailors and their families to take advantage of services and programs. Fleet and Family Support Centers offer classes, workshops, seminars and counseling on a wide-variety of topics relevant to sailors and their families. Another significant aspect of the command's prevention effort is promoting victim safety and holding offenders accountable. The Family Advocacy Program is available to assist Navy leaders by providing victim advocacy, clinical counseling and case management services. Some additional ways that Navy leaders can prevent and address abuse are:
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