Preventing Violence in Military Families
Many of the almost 2 million Americans who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan come home with serious mental health injuries. RAND Corporation’s 2008 breakthrough report, “Invisible Wounds of War,” estimates that of the veterans who have returned from these conflicts, nearly one in five has symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or major depression, and 19 percent have a possible traumatic brain injury (TBI). More recent figures from the Department of Veteran Affairs suggest that these numbers have almost doubled.
These alarming numbers among returning veterans make them and their families vulnerable to family violence. To help prevent combat veterans from bringing the violence they’ve experienced overseas into their homes, we’ve supported the following organizations and activities:
- Alternatives to Domestic Violence, a domestic violence family counseling center that is building a model civilian partnership with March Air Reserve Base to provide services to military personnel, veterans, guard, reserve, and their families.
- Blue Star Families is facilitating a national dialogue for military family stakeholders, including the Obama administration and other government entities, to ensure that prevention of family violence is included in national policy discussions.
- Community Circles of Support for Veterans’ Families — a project of the National Center on Family Homelessness — will pilot, evaluate, and document a community-based domestic violence prevention model for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their domestic partners in California.
- Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is building new family violence prevention tools for its Web sites, integrating family violence prevention materials, and bringing this issue to the attention of policymakers and legislators. IAVA’s December 2011 report, ‘Unsung Heroes', discusses DV as one of the many potential risk factors for military veterans returning home.
- Northern California Institute for Research and Education is conducting "Vets Return Home," a study to understand the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among California Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, and that tests the effectiveness of new services to prevent violence.
- San Jose State University Research Foundation is documenting the prevalence of IPV on college campuses across California, and developing new prevention tools for veterans and their families.
- Swords to Plowshares is providing training and resources to domestic violence advocates, police officers, and veterans’ service providers.
"Blue Shield of California Foundation is helping to prevent interpersonal violence and improve the resiliency of our veterans and their families."
Risa J. Greendlinger, MPA, Project Director and Market Leader, The National Center on Family Homelessness
To learn more about the Foundation’s efforts to support wellness in military families, read the Preventing Violence in the Homes of Military Families issue brief and the Insights and Impacts brochure.
What We Do and Don’t Fund
The Foundation is not accepting unsolicited requests for support for projects related to the prevention of violence in the homes of military families.
Visit our What We Fund page for information about Blue Shield of California Foundation’s open funding opportunities.