- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
I think that it is good that this is being brought to light but I'm sure that it is an issue that was already being addressed, as stated in the article. This politician needs to do a little research about the effects of PTSD, especially amongst soldiers before she opens her pie hole and causes more trouble for us than there already is. Now more people will think we are drunken, wife beating, killers; wonderful! :uhh: Stupid Bitch!
Reports of domestic violence on rise among Canada's soldiers: MP
Last Updated: Thursday, September 11, 2008 | 10:26 AM CT
The Canadian military is receiving an increasing number of reports about soldiers acting out violently against their families, according to the NDP defence critic.
NDP defence critic Dawn Black says reports of domestic violence in the military have been increasing. (CBC)
Dawn Black, who is also MP for New Westminster-Coquitlam in British Columbia, has been collecting serious incident reports filed with the Canadian Forces. They suggest violence in military families is increasing, she told CBC News.
"Certainly there's more reports of wife assault and angry soldiers exhibiting the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Afghanistan," said Black.
"What I've found over the last many months is that there are many more — maybe even 50 per cent more — reports of post-traumatic stress disorder acting itself out in domestic violence."
Some soldiers have trouble reintegrating with their families when they return to Canada, she said, and they need better supports to help them deal with the issue.
"This is something that just must be dealt with," she said. "To really support the troops, there has to be the kind of care and treatment provided to ensure that they and their families get through this experience."
'Families are falling apart'
At Canadian Forces Base Shilo in Manitoba, a woman who is a victim of domestic violence agrees the military needs to take action.
Since her husband, a combat soldier, returned from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, his behaviour has changed and he can be easily triggered into a rage, said the woman, who did not want to be identified out of fear of retribution.
Hundreds of soldiers are returning to Canadian Forces Base Shilo in September, after a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. (CBC)
The woman still can't believe the abuse she suffered at the hands of her spouse: he's punched her, choked her and slammed her against a wall, with their children just a bedroom away, she told CBC News.
"How I kept quiet, I don't know. I think it was just, 'I can't believe this is happening,'" she said.
Hundreds of soldiers are returning to Shilo in September from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. By speaking out now, the woman said, she hopes the military will take action to help other families so they don't experience what she has.
"They offered him no help. No psychological help. He never saw a doctor. He never got a debriefing. He had nothing," she said.
"Families are falling apart. It's time for them to get off their collective butts and put things into place."
Military addressing the issue
Military officials say the Canadian Forces watches for signs of psychological trouble.
Most soldiers returning from Afghanistan undergo a five-day "decompression" in Cyprus, and they are also required to undergo a psychological assessment three to six months after they return to Canada, said military counsellor Capt. Wayne Brockington.
Capt. Wayne Brockington, a military counsellor, said he has not seen a large increase in domestic-violence cases in Winnipeg. (CBC)
But not all soldiers complete the assessment.
In April, of the nearly 9,000 soldiers who were supposed to have completed the psych test, just 71 per cent had completed it.
"I know that typically 71 per cent do get the screening within the three to six months. The other 29 per cent are usually caught up to, usually within their medicals, which happen every two years," said Brockington.
"The military is looking for 100 per cent completion, and they're probably addressing these issues as we speak."
Brockington said he couldn't comment on specific numbers, but he hasn't seen a large increase in domestic violence cases in Winnipeg in the couple of years he's been there.
But the Shilo soldier's wife says that's not what she's seen and heard on the base.
"I know I'm not alone," she said. "I know so much that I'm not alone, and that's why I thought someone needs to speak up."