Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sorry, but combat PTSD is actually a risk factor for domestic violence

The rate of intimate partner violence perpetration within the past 12 months ranges from 15% to 60%, depending on veteran sample, with a mean of 22%.

SF Gate

"There have been days when there are more military family members killed by their veteran on the home front than troops killed in action on the war front. March 23, 2012, was one of them. Kristy Huddleston wasn't a soldier who had already served multiple tours, or a combat veteran traumatized by war, but her husband was. That put her at a higher risk of experiencing potentially lethal domestic violence than virtually any other demographic in the nation. As Kristy lay on the kitchen floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head, her 10-year-old son called 911. The murder trial of Bourne Huddleston, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is on the docket for April 7 in Jackson County, Oregon.
Combat veterans are responsible for almost 21 percent of domestic violence nationwide, linked to the development of post traumatic stress disorder. This is comparable to the fact that veterans alone account for 20 percent of U.S. suicides. We call the problem of veteran suicide an "epidemic," funding research, convening conferences, and creating new programs, hotlines and therapies aimed at prevention, intervention and reducing the stigma of seeking mental health care. But we don't talk about veteran intimate partner violence at all, effectively ensuring that the catastrophic consequences remain largely unacknowledged and unaddressed."
Galovski and Lyons (2004)

"Empirical studies have examined the relative influence of combat exposure versus PTSD in predicting domestic violence. Petrik, Rosenberg, and Watson (1983) explored the hypothesis that it is the military combat experience itself that makes men more prone to general violent behavior. They investigated violent abuse toward 100 female partners of male psychiatric inpatients (not necessarily PTSD) with and without combat experience. Fifty percent of the combat veterans and 57% of the noncombat veterans reported using violence against women. Results suggest that combat experience alone was not a strong influence on reported use of violence. Carroll, Rueger, Foy, and Donahoe (1985) in their comparison of 60 treatment-seeking Vietnam veterans (21 PTSD; 18 non-PTSD, combat; and 21 minimal combat exposure veterans) found that hostility and physical aggression discriminated between the PTSD and non-PTSD group in the expected direction. There was no significant difference in level of reported hostility and aggression between the PTSD and minimal combat groups. No significant differences in verbal aggression emerged between any of the groups. Finally, Jordan et al. (1992) compared 122 wives of PTSD veterans to 252 wives of non-PTSD veterans and found that wives of PTSD-veterans reported more violence on the part of the veteran and admitted to committing more violence themselves. These data suggest that it is the presence of PTSD, rather than combat exposure, that is associated with elevated levels of hostility and physical violence."

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