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Armed Forces: Domestic Abuse

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 217840, tabled on 9 December 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what help his Department gives to servicemen and ex-servicemen to reduce levels of domestic violence.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

5 January 2015

The Department attaches considerable importance to tackling domestic violence. Our approach consists of two elements: ensuring that Service personnel understand the importance of preventing domestic violence and how best to do so; and raising awareness of the comprehensive range of help and information available to those experiencing violence. This includes single-Service specialist welfare providers, Families' Federations and help-lines.

We recognise that the levels of stress felt by individuals following deployment can vary greatly and no two people will deal with their experiences in the same way. Service personnel returning from certain operational theatres are provided with a period of decompression to re-adjust in a graduated and controlled manner.

This is one element of the complete Post Operational Stress Management package which improves the quality of homecoming by giving personnel the opportunity to talk through their experiences, as well as receive welfare briefings and have time to unwind.

Advice is also available for families, drawing attention to what can be expected when serving family members return from operations. This includes information about signs of stress, behaviours to look for and how to get help if needed. Welfare officers, padres, and other associated organisations also provide information to families by email, and through support groups.

Work is in hand to update Joint Service Publication 913, which sets out the tri-Service policy on domestic violence, to ensure there is a consistent approach across the three Services.

Once an individual has left the armed forces additional support is available from Veterans UK, as well as national charities.