Domestic Violence, the NFL, and Combat Veterans

Domestic Violence, the NFL, and Combat Veterans .

We have heard so much about the NFL problem with domestic violence in the last year. An anti-domestic violence commercial was featured among the Superbowl ads. Football is a violent sport. NFL stars are sought-after by just about everyone, including women. They are suddenly wealthy after years of training in high school and college.  On the other end of the domestic violence spectrum are combat veterans.

Combat veterans may suffer from psychological problems they did not have before they enlisted in the service. This can include depression, anxiety, substance abuse and PTSD. Combat veterans are more likely to commit suicide. According to a study by Yale University, combat veterans are much more likely to commit domestic abuse, than civilians, by a factor of 21%. This is often attributed to Post-Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD).

I do not know any statistics on the percentage of pro football players who become involved in domestic violence, but I do know there are many more combat veterans than pro football players. Combat veterans did all of the necessary work in defending the country, not the quarterback, and their lives are much more complicated and certainly not glamorous.

While many domestic abuse relationships are marked with jealousy, keeping money, friends and family away from the abused spouse, domestic abuse arising in a post-combat vet home may just be a blow-up. Rather than a pattern of controlling the spouse, then striking, and then apologizing to the spouse afterward, a post-combat vet spouse suffering from PTSD may just strike out violently.

Many courts have veteran court components. However, although that is a way to make sure disenfranchised and sometimes homeless veterans obtain needed services, for the veteran that already is plugged into his VA services and has a strong family bond, veteran’s court may not be the answer in all cases since it often requires a plea of guilty or no contest before the veteran is assisted with services. For those veterans that are already struggling with finding work and getting through school, this may not always be the best track.

War is a dirty business that cannot exist on a daily basis for several years, and then just recede away as the veterans return to their civilian work. This was first discussed in modern history when World War One veterans were described as “shell-shocked”, but the violence of war has permeated society since ancient times. Ancient civilizations have been founded and populated by a conquering army killing the men and raping the women from the time that war existed.

If you or someone you know is accused of a crime, arrested, or contacted by police, contact San Jose criminal defense attorney Maureen Baldwin at (408) 279-4450 to learn your options today!