Family Violence Victim Advocacy
Long deployments, frequent moves, and the demands of mission readiness impose many stresses on military families, which sometimes leads to dating, marital and/or parent-child conflict. Concern for the welfare of Navy families and the effects of family violence on military performance prompted the establishment of the Family Advocacy Program.
Fleet & Family Support Centers offer prevention, identification, treatment and follow up regarding incidents of Family Violence. All efforts are geared towards victim safety and protection, and offender accountability, education and treatment. Our goal is to help you and your family, so please do not hesitate to ask questions and receive support for you as an individual or as a family.
- Domestic Violence
- Victim Resources
- Child Abuse
- Family Advocacy
- Command Resources
- Events & Trainings
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.
Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, and hair pulling are types of physical abuse. Physical abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.
You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever...
- Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
- Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
- Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
- Scared you by driving recklessly.
- Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
- Forced you to leave your home.
- Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
- Prevented you from calling the police or seeking medical attention.
- Hurt your children.
- Used physical force in sexual situations.
Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner.
Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.
You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner...
- Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
- Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
- Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
- Monitors where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with.
- Controls finances or refuses to share money.
- Punishes you by withholding affection.
- Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
Making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.
Causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work are all examples of psychological abuse.
Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. Children who grow up witnessing domestic violence are among those seriously affected by this crime. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life, therefore, increasing their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.
Victims of domestic violence may feel confused, trapped, helpless and guilty and need some support to help them through this very difficult time. The Fleet and Family Support Center has Domestic Abuse Victim Advocates who provide victims with information and support to ensure their safety and their family's safety. The victim advocate provides victims with their rights, education on the domestic violence cycle, victim empowerment, how to heal after the trauma, and how to help children who have witnessed and/or experienced abuse.
The victim advocate can help with...
A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you've left. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more.
A good safety plan will have all of the vital information you need and be tailored to your unique situation, and will help walk you through different situations you may face.
Although some of the things that you outline in your safety plan may seem obvious, it's important to remember that in moments of crisis your brain doesn't function the same way as when you are calm. When adrenaline is pumping through your veins it can be hard to think clearly or make logical decisions about your safety. Having a safety plan laid out in advance can help you to protect yourself and your children in those stressful moments.
At times, a victim may need additional legal help to stay safe. The Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA) can help a victim apply for a civil protection order through the courts, and be present with a victim in court if wanted or needed. A Protection Order is granted by a judge and orders the person hurting you (defendant) to stay away. The defendant should not enter your home or approach you at your place of work or school. If the defendant violates the protection order, a new criminal charge could be filed and the defendant could be arrested again.
Although the Judge may grant the Protection Order, it does not guarantee your safety. It is important for you to be very careful and take steps to ensure your safety as much as possible. Working with a Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate can be helpful to see if a protection order is right for you.
The United States Military Justice System has its own version of a protection order, more commonly referred to as a "Military Protective Order (MPO)," but which are officially "conditions on liberty." Unlike the civilian justice system which requires a judge to grant a protective order, in the military the commanding officer or his designee can issue a Military Protective Order to his/her service member to keep parties separated to prevent any further escalation of domestic abuse. Typically, MPOs last for 10 days to allow time to diffuse the situation between the parties, unless an extension occurs on the MPO.
As a victim of domestic abuse, you have some options for reporting the abuse...
This process allows adult victims of domestic abuse, who are eligible to receive military medical treatment, the option of reporting an incident to specific medical providers or Fleet & Family Support staff without initiating an investigative process or notifying the victim’s or offender’s commander.
A victim of domestic violence can make a restricted report to a DAVA, the victim advocate’s supervisor, and any credentialed health care professionals at the Military Treatment Facility or the Fleet & Family Support Center. If the victim discloses to someone other than the specified individuals, command or law enforcement may be alerted and an investigation may be initiated. The report then becomes unrestricted. Service members are required to report any incident of domestic violence to the command.
There are both benefits and limitations to restricted reporting.
Benefits of Restricted Reporting:
- You may access medical treatment, advocacy, and counseling services
- You have space and time to consider your options for safety and what you want to happen
- You have control over the release and management of your personal information
- Increased trust in the system since you control when and to whom information is shared.
Limitations of Restricted Reporting:
- The offender is not held accountable and may continue to be abusive
- The victim cannot obtain a Military Protective Order
- The offender may continue to have contact with the victim
- Evidence from a crime scene could be lost and may impede an investigation if the victim chooses to unrestrict the report in the future.
There are some limitations to restricted reporting, based on specific imminent risk. Contact the Fleet & Family Support Center DAVA to find out more about the guidelines for reporting domestic violence and discuss the options available.
Victims of domestic abuse who want to pursue an official command or criminal investigation of an incident should use the unrestricted reporting process, including chain of command, the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) or law enforcement. Upon notification of a domestic abuse incident, the DAVA services and FAP clinical services will be offered to the victim. Additionally, at the victim’s request, a health care provider, in coordination with the criminal investigators, may conduct a forensic medical examination if appropriate.
Benefits of unrestricted reporting:
- Medical treatment, advocacy and counseling services
- The widest range of rights and protections
- Command support, including separation from the offender
- Full investigation
Limitations of unrestricted reporting:
- The victim cannot change to restricted reporting
- The investigative process may be intrusive
- Information about the domestic abuse incident will be in the public domain
- The investigation and court proceedings might be lengthy
If you are a victim of domestic abuse your first step toward help is to tell someone. Speak with a counselor or victim advocate at the Fleet and family Support Center or a healthcare provider at a medical treatment facility about your reporting options.
Help is available!
Here are some military and civilian resources to assist you:
- If you are in danger and need help call 911
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-3224 or www.ndvh.org
- Military OneSource: 1-800-342-9647 or www.militaryonesource.mil
- NAS Whidbey Island Chaplain: 360-257-2414
- NAS Whidbey Island Base Security: 360-257-3127
- Fleet & Family Support Center: 1-866-854-0638
- Domestic Violence ALIVE Shelter: 1-800-222-1222
- Washington State National Hotline: 1-800-562-6025
Child abuse consists of any act that endangers or impairs a child’s physical or emotional health and development. Child physical abuse includes any damage done to a child which cannot be reasonably explained and which is often represented by an injury or series of injuries appearing to be non-accidental in nature. Service members are required to report any incident of child abuse to the command.
Forms of Child Abuse
Any act that causes non-accidental injury to a child. This includes abuse such as hitting, kicking, slapping, shaking, burning, pinching, hair pulling, biting, choking, throwing, shoving, whipping, and paddling.
Any sexual act between an adult and child. This includes fondling, penetration, intercourse, exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, child prostitution, group sex, oral sex, or forced observation of sexual acts.
Failure to provide for a child’s physical needs and safety. This includes lack of supervision, inappropriate housing or shelter, inadequate provision of food and water, inappropriate clothing for season or weather, abandonment, denial of medical care and inadequate hygiene.
Any attitude or behavior which interferes with a child’s mental health or social development. This includes yelling, screaming, name-calling, shaming, negative comparisons to others, telling them they are “bad, no good, worthless” or “a mistake.” It also includes the failure to provide the affection and support necessary for the development of a child’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual well-being. This includes ignoring, lack of appropriate physical affection (hugs), not saying “I love you,” withdrawal of attention, lack of praise and lack of positive reinforcement.
Child abuse must be reported to keep our children safe. There is no option for restricted reporting for incidents of child abuse or neglect.
- Child Protective Services - Reporting/Intake: 1-800-829-2153
- Reporting After Hours: 1-800-829-2153
- Family Advocacy Program: 1-866-854-0638
Family Advocacy Program
The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is designed to support operational readiness by addressing prevention, education, identification, intervention, treatment and the reporting of suspected child abuse/neglect and spouse/partner abuse.
The Fleet & Family Support Center is staffed with highly qualified, licensed counselors who provide assessment, case management and treatment for active duty service members and beneficiaries who are involved in a domestic or child abuse incident. Each of the counselors holds a masters or doctorate degree in Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Psychology. They are fully credentialed and know how to assist you!
The Family Advocacy Program requires staff to assess all reported incidents of suspected or known maltreatment. The FAP process includes in-person interviews with the service member, spouse/partner and children. The Commanding Officer of the service member is notified when an allegation has been reported to FAP that involves the service member and/or family members. Depending on the allegation, the appropriate state’s child protection agency and/or appropriate law enforcement agency may be contacted (i.e. Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS), local Police or Sheriff). Because FAP staff may make these and other disclosures in furtherance of the Family Advocacy Program, communications made to FAP staff may not be privileged under Military Rule of Evidence 513 or similar provisions.
In accordance with DOD guidance, all cases that meet reasonable suspicion for domestic abuse and/or child maltreatment will be reviewed at the Incident Determination Committee (IDC) and the Clinical Case Staffing Meeting (CCSM).
- The IDC membership consists of: Installation Executive Officer, Installation Command Master Chief, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, Staff Judge Advocate, Base Security, Family Advocacy Representative, and sponsor’s Commanding Officer. Although you may not attend the IDC meeting, you will receive notification seven days in advance of the meeting date. The IDC reviews all relevant information regarding the allegations and makes an administrative determination whether abuse/neglect occurred. The results of the IDC are reported to the FAP Central Registry for data collection and tracking of cases. You will be informed of the IDC’s findings and your right to request a review of the findings if certain conditions exist.
- During the CCSM, clinical providers review all relevant case information to develop interventions/treatment recommendations to meet the specific needs of each service member and/or family members. A FLAG may be assigned to insure that service members due to receive permanent change of station (PCS) orders are assigned in areas where appropriate treatment services are available. The CCSM periodically reviews cases until such time that: treatment recommendations are completed; level of risk has decreased; case is closed due to non-compliance.
The IDC determination, CCSM treatment recommendations, administrative recommendations and “flagging” information is provided to the service member’s Commanding Officer. The victim and/or offender may contact the FAP Case Manager directly to obtain results of the IDC and CCSM.
Men’s and Women’s Ending Violence Groups: (MEV & WEV)
The Fleet & Family Support Center offers both a Men’s and Women’s Ending Violence Group. Participants in the group will learn to recognize the various forms of abuse, such as physical, sexual, economic, stalking, abuse of pets, and psychological (emotional). They will learn new skills for problem solving and develop better methods of communication. They will also learn ways of conflict resolution that do not include coercion or physical violence, and be able to recognize their role in the relationship in which abuse occurred.
Both groups have different levels of treatment:
Level II: 16 weekly group sessions with three monthly follow up individual appointments. Clients meet monthly with case manager through the group process.
Level III (IV): 26 weekly group sessions with six monthly follow up individual appointments. Clients meet monthly with case manager through the group process.
Call your case manager or 1-866-854-0638 for more information.
Positive Parenting Class
The Positive Parenting Class is a class where parents learn specific techniques to avoid hassles such as: fighting, eating, chores, motivation, homework, sharing and more. This fun and lively class will teach parents discipline techniques that will promote children’s:
- Problem-solving Skills
Domestic Violence Parenting Class
Understanding the Effects! When Children Witness Domestic Violence - Helping Children Who Witness Domestic Violence is a 2-hour class designed to help parents understand the impact of witnessing violence or high level conflict within the family home. The focus of this class is on the developmental stages of children, and how they process and internalize these themes of conflict in the family environment. The class also helps parents to take steps towards addressing their children's needs in a supportive and healing way.
Counseling for Children
Fleet & Family Support's Children's counselors are highly qualified, state licensed clinicians who have had extensive experience working with children and families through a wide range of concerns.
Command Family Advocacy Representatives (CFAR) Training
Newly appointed CFARs can receive training by calling the Fleet & Family Support Center to set up their individual appointment with the Family Advocacy Representative. Training can include orientation to their position, as well as an overview of the Incident Determination Committee that will fulfill the requirements to vote.
Domestic Violence (DV)/Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (SAPR) Executive Leadership Training
COMNAVREGNWINST 1753.1A requires all newly appointment Commanding Officers, Executive Officers, Command Master Chiefs and Chiefs of the Boat to attend the DV/SAPR Executive Leadership training within 90 days of assuming their position.
Please call our Centralized Scheduling line at 866-854-0638 to reserve your space.