Stacy Bannerman’s Domestic Violence Hoax

by Featured Guest on October 27, 2010

By Carey Roberts

Stacy Bannerman, well-known advocate for military families, recently published an article titled, “Husbands Who Bring the War Home.” Author of When the War Came Home, Bannerman has been credited for helping to secure passage of the Military Family Leave Act in 2009.

As weary American troops return from their Iraqi deployment, the Bannerman column is important and timely. And the harrowing account of Kristi, victim of an attempted strangulation by a husband who had just returned from a 10-month deployment, was riveting.

But was it true?

As a columnist who specializes in the field of domestic violence and has spoken with countless victims of abuse, I found myself feeling increasingly unsettled as I worked my way through her engaging yet enigmatic essay.

The question of the veracity of her claims is paramount because the partner abuse field is strewn with battlefield debris of half-truths, misrepresentations, and utter fabrications. University of New Hampshire researcher Murray Straus has written of domestic violence researchers who “have let their ideological commitments overrule their scientific commitments.” And U. Penn School of Social Work dean Richard Gelles has coined the whimsical phrase about the ubiquitous partner abuse “factoids from nowhere.”

So I sent Ms. Bannerman an email requesting documentation of her various statements and claims.

She cheerfully answered a couple of my questions. But when pressed for citations of the research studies, Bannerman firmly demurred: “I am sorry that my travel schedule doesn’t allow me to provide any further assistance.”

Knowing that her article had garnered extensive media attention and could well shape future legislation, that brush-off hardly seemed to fit the ticket. So I did some digging. And to my dismay, I learned that “Husbands Who Bring the War Home” likely contains more fiction than fact.

Let’s put the issue into perspective. Partner abuse is a problem in our society. But research paints a very different picture than the Dagwood and Blondie comic strip stereotypes.

The largest study on partner violence in military families was conducted by Richard Heyman of the State University of New York – Stony Brook. His survey of over 33,000 active-duty Army personnel found 4.4% of female soldiers had committed severe domestic violence in the past year, compared to only 2.5% of the men. Other studies with military personnel reach a similar conclusion: Women are as likely, if not more likely, than men to engage in partner aggression.

So let’s dissect the eight key claims in Bannerman’s 1,400-word article. I’ll first quote her statement, then tell you what my investigation turned up.

1. “The journal Disabled American Veterans stated that veteran interpersonal violence often involves ‘only one or two extremely violent and frightening abusive episodes that quickly precipitate treatment seeking.’”

I visited the website of the Disabled American Veterans Magazine. Entering the terms “interpersonal violence,” “partner violence,” and “domestic violence” into the magazine’s search engine — I searched every issue of the magazine from 1960 on. The Bannerman statement could not be verified. (When I later informed Ms. Bannerman of this fruitless search, she did not offer any comment.)

Conclusion: The statement appears to reflect the fanciful musings of an imaginative commentator.

2. The Veterans Administration “found that the majority of veterans with combat stress commit at least one act of spousal abuse in their first year post-deployment.”

Even after I offered to extend my deadline to accommodate Ms. Bannerman’s travel plans, she still did not provide the source of this claim. So I searched high and low – no luck. Finally I contacted the Veterans Administration. Tina Crenshaw, PhD of the National Center for PTSD replied, “I checked with a couple of researchers in this topic area – they were not aware of research supporting that statement.”

Conclusion: Add this gem to your Factoids from Nowhere collection.

3. “[S]ince 2003, there has been a 75 percent increase in reports of domestic violence in and around Ft. Hood.”

Bannerman emailed me, “As for the Ft. Hood figures, they were drawn from an article in USA Today.” But the USA Today article that is linked to her article says nothing about domestic violence, much less reports on an alleged “75 percent increase” in partner abuse.

Conclusion: Factoid from Nowhere No. 2.

4. “He [Kristi’s husband] called a domestic violence hotline, and the person he talked to discouraged him from going to the men’s group because he doesn’t fit the abuser profile.”

This incident was so out-of-order that I called Susan Risdon, spokeswoman for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and read her Bannerman’s statement. Without missing a beat, Risdon skewered the claim: “Our advocates would never give that response to a caller.”

Conclusion: Let’s put this improbable tale out of its misery – can we all agree this is Factoid from Nowhere No. 3?

5. “Staff at the shelter told her that…her husband made too much money for her to stay there, anyway.”

This statement is not likely to be true because none of the three federal programs that fund domestic violence shelters — the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Victims of Crime Act — requires means testing for shelter residents. And virtually every abuse shelter in the country receives federal monies.

Conclusion: Hardly a spit-and-polish claim.

6. The Blue Star Families “hasn’t released the findings [on its 2010 military family survey], but my hunch is that they’ll show near-epidemic numbers of veteran violence in the home.”

I queried Ms. Bannerman, “What was the basis for your ‘hunch’?” You guessed it, No response.

Conclusion: Is the idea to engage in responsible journalism, or scare the living daylights out of military wives?

7. I posed this question to Bannerman: “It is well-known that women are as likely to be partner abusers as men. Knowing that many women have served in combat zones, why did your article omit mention of their needs for counseling and treatment?”

Ms. Bannerman did not judge this question worthy of an answer.

Conclusion: According to the VA, “Women may take longer to recover from PTSD and are four times more likely than men to have long-lasting PTSD. Women with PTSD also are more likely to feel depressed and anxious.” So why did Bannerman opt to stiff-arm the needs of post-deployment women with PTSD, who are also at increased risk of partner abuse?

8. This was my last question: “The beginning of your article recounts three late night phone calls from ‘Kristi’ to you. Since the main point of your article is that the problem of domestic violence should be taken seriously, why did you not contact the police as soon as you received the calls?”

Bannerman replied, “I did not contact the police, since she [Kristi] specifically asked me not to.”

Conclusion: This must qualify as the most disingenuous part of the entire narrative. The caller was not indulging in a frat-house prank, and Ms. Bannerman surely understands the mortal risks of partner violence. But when confronted with a here-and-now, life-and-death situation, Bannerman nods back to sleep, miffed by the late-night distraction.

I contacted Dr. Donald Dutton, an internationally recognized expert on intimate partner aggression at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Dutton replied, “The Daily Beast article feeds into the stereotype of domestic violence as perpetrated by brutal men against hapless women. But the U.S. Army data indicates that partner abuse is perpetrated more by women. Apparently Stacy Bannerman believes that we shouldn’t allow a stereotype to get confused by the facts.”

On January 28, 1993 a group of women issued a warning that the upcoming Super Bowl would be the “biggest day of the year for violence against women.” Three days later the Washington Post ran a front-page story revealing there was no evidence to support such a claim. The frolic later came to be known as the Super Bowl Hoax.

Nearly 18 years later, a similar battle plan is being followed: Assemble lurid anecdotes and apocryphal statistics, issue dire warnings, and stampede loyal military wives into demanding draconian domestic violence measures.

But in the final analysis, it’s the true victims of true domestic violence who have most to lose from the data-fragging, fear-fostering, and political-posturing that envelop much of the current domestic violence debate.

Because after all these years, it’s about time that we take desperation calls from persons like Kristi seriously.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

intp October 27, 2010 at 07:49

Admirable dissection. Few journalists seems to have your ability. The lost discipline of Fact Checking.

Regarding authentic violence in the home (when it actually occurs) I’m curious if men require a long train of provocations to become physically violent whereas women display random, spontaneous physical violence (i.e., without provocation)? These studies, of course, omit verbal and emotional violence. An arena women dominate.

Increasingly women are establishing a Do Not Enter zone around themselves. It’s becoming too legally perilous to have any dealings with females.

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NMH October 27, 2010 at 08:31

The fact that Bannerman wrote an article that is largely a biased fraud needs to be publicised; this needs to be exposed. If she has written more mistaken articles like this than she is the next Jayson Blair, the NY times reporter/fraud.

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Hestia October 27, 2010 at 08:40

THANK YOU for this piece.

Ms. Bannerman has done some work on behalf of military families that is admirable; however, she has also propagated much false information that is harmful to the population she seeks to support. (There have been some articles of hers that are rather misleading about the support systems available to military families, both AD and Guard/Reservists) This latest DV fear-mongering is abhorrent and seeing somebody debunk her information is encouraging.

I have been involved with Family Readiness Group (FRG) for nearly seven years. I have been an FRG leader for four of those years and while I have had many frantic phone calls come in the middle of the night, a wife reporting DV has not been one of these. With the recent publication of “Husbands Who Bring the War Home” the questions and concerns that I’ve heard about domestic violence have been on the rise.

It should be noted that the choking incident described in Bannerman’s article sounds a bit similar to one discussed in the book “While They’re At War” by Kristin Henderson. Mrs. Henderson is the wife of a military chaplain and another popular military wife author/advocate. Many rumors around the duty stations my husband has been stationed at have contained similar elements as well.

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continent October 27, 2010 at 08:52

Carey Roberts is one of the most accurate writers on men’s issues. It’s worth noting that he remained younger men of “Super Bowl” hoax, because it can be resuscitated as a fact, like the “Rule of Thumb” origin. Check Urban Legends for the real history.
Personally I felt comforted that Robert Carey explained the “travel schedule” short shrift excuse. I had been given similar reply and wondered if it was true.

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Keyster October 27, 2010 at 09:02

His survey of over 33,000 active-duty Army personnel found 4.4% of female soldiers had committed severe domestic violence in the past year, compared to only 2.5% of the men.

With no evidence to back it up, I’ll guess the majority of these female soldiers would be of the lesbian persuasion, as the majority (or great minority) of female soldiers are lesbian.

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Flashman October 27, 2010 at 09:10

Brilliant article. As a vet who went to Iraq twice, I want to thank you for your work. It’s funny how everyone always thinks its the men who initiate violence. I don’t know any of my friends who has hit their wives, but I’ve had a male relative hit and have myself been threatened with violence by a woman. Too bad it’s a truth that gets covered up by feminists. Again, great job.

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criolle johnny October 27, 2010 at 09:41

OK, you brilliantly skewered her because she failed to provide sources for her claims. You did this at least six times:
1. The Bannerman statement could not be verified.
2. she still did not provide the source of this claim
3. But the USA Today article that is linked to her article says nothing about domestic violence
4. Risdon skewered the claim
5. This statement is not likely to be true because …
6. I queried … No response.

PLEASE(!) provide a link for THIS source in your own work:
———————————————————————————————
“Richard Heyman of the State University of New York – Stony Brook. His survey of over 33,000 active-duty Army personnel found 4.4% of female soldiers had committed severe domestic violence in the past year, compared to only 2.5% of the men”
———————————————————————————————
I, for one, would like to cite this material.

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jozin October 27, 2010 at 09:52

As already mentioned several times, facts are not important. Emotions count and propaganda beats facts.

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Nutz October 27, 2010 at 10:19

So I sent Ms. Bannerman an email requesting documentation of her various statements and claims.

She cheerfully answered a couple of my questions. But when pressed for citations of the research studies, Bannerman firmly demurred: “I am sorry that my travel schedule doesn’t allow me to provide any further assistance.”

Knowing that her article had garnered extensive media attention and could well shape future legislation, that brush-off hardly seemed to fit the ticket. So I did some digging. And to my dismay, I learned that “Husbands Who Bring the War Home” likely contains more fiction than fact.

This sounds strikingly similar to what Carol Gilligan did with her research claiming “girls are shortchanged” in schools back in the early 90′s. It was her research that drove a lot of educational policy in the US at the time. When people wised up and finally decided to check and see how credible her research was, lo and behold she was unable to present it for peer review. How she wasn’t crucified as being a fraud I have no idea aside that policymakers were afraid of the egg they’d have on their face if it came to light. Christina Hoff Sommers talked about this in detail in The War Against Boys.

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misterb October 27, 2010 at 10:36

That’s gratitude, treat men like if they were turd that have been stepped on.
The boys in the military have five hurdles to deal with. Backstabbers, ungrateful women and homosexuals who sexualized the men in uniform. Those who returned wounded, don’t get help

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intp October 27, 2010 at 10:52

Talk of being ground between 2 millstones. On one hand there is “Time” magazine running “Why We Fight” mission-creep advocacy pieces on the need to continue our Christian Crusade against the barbaric Moslems. Remember nose girl and its not so subtle guilt trip on American men.

Now the Establishment is demonizing the very same men returning home from the Crusades. Having saved Moslem women from the horrors of chastity and monogamy, our returning GIs are now branded as future abusers.

Makes a guy want to go Galt.

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Uncle Elmer October 27, 2010 at 11:05

survey of over 33,000 active-duty Army personnel found 4.4% of female soldiers had committed severe domestic violence in the past year, compared to only 2.5% of the men.

As many female soldiers are lesbians that makes a lot of sense.

The book “Stolen Valor” about people exploiting the Vietnam vet narrative has some interesting discussion about actual rates of vet suicide and joblessness vs. media claims. Some folks were even touting Vietnam vets who were sexually abused while POWs, a little hard to believe.

Looks like “vets” are a commodity that can be exploited by anyone looking to make a buck. Sarah Palin comes to mind.

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Uncle Elmer October 27, 2010 at 11:08

I see Keyster beat me on the lesbo angle.

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misterb October 27, 2010 at 11:31

I will say this, the creature called Stacy Bannerman is a liar and a turd bag. The vets are considered lower standards in the eyes of the mainstream media.

In the post entitlement world. Not to mention confusion after the fall of gender barriers. The women in the west enjoyed many things. Everything were handed to them on a silver platter. Even men who sweat and bled for women, received neither gratitude or decency from women. Betrayed by women and society.

As women and bastards who demanded the so-called right to kill on a whim, is a curse that infest the western world. Where the children, the elderly and the helpless are at mercy of these fiends.

heterosexual men have endured uphill battles. Of which personal honour and dignity were now considered forms of evil. the gender war against heterosexual men, had turned a majority of men into peacocks and mutts.

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SingleDad October 27, 2010 at 11:32

That’s right, it’s a propaganda war.

War I say? Am I implying the nearly every female you will contact is out to get you, use you, or, just for fun have you imprisoned, lose your job and family.

Am I saying teachers are gleeful that the girls in their class are proving that women are inherently better than men. Despite this causing the boys in their class to hate school, hate the education system, watch their prospects for a decent job diminish year by year.

Gleeful that the mothers of these boys are so indoctrinated that they also see this as progress with maybe a nagging suspicion that this might impact these mothers later with son’s that cannot or will not work.

And am I saying that we are penalizing those boys that, through the success of the education system and alienating them are opting for the military and then some women see them as sitting ducks to be plundered for military benefits?

Am I saying that the very people whose task it is to help those in the military to come back to a happy home that they risked their life to maintain are poisoning the waters and creating an unfriendly environment for these hero’s?

Yes I am.

And the last I heard you must volenteer to be in the miltiary. Maybe young men should be educated that by entering the miltary they are giving their loving wives a gun to be put to their head when they return expect a loving supportive household to exist.

It seems that some are trying to create an environment where men are committing relationship suicide by entering the military.

Sounds like that to me.

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Thag Jones October 27, 2010 at 12:07

How disgusting. How do people like this sleep at night? Ambien, probably.

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Troll King October 27, 2010 at 13:56

Regarding authentic violence in the home (when it actually occurs) I’m curious if men require a long train of provocations to become physically violent whereas women display random, spontaneous physical violence (i.e., without provocation)? These studies, of course, omit verbal and emotional violence. An arena women dominate.

I think men do require a constant stream of provacation. Now there is a minor, like if it were a scientific study it wouldn’t even count because it would be below .01% discrepency, group of men who are so fucked up by women or just born sociopaths that they do beat the fuck out of them constantly but the vast majority of guys who actually beat women aren’t the one sided abusers feminists make them out to be.

There is a good site called http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com and its run by a man and woman, and the man used to work in police and prison and was a street fighter. He talks about a lot of interesting things about evo psych and alpha beta dynamics. But he doesn’t do so from the socio sexual frame of what women want in men but instead from the behavioral frame for violence and dominance.

To paraphrase some things I new but found on his site and realized how truthful his words are. He talks about several things relevent to this and here they are:

1.The biggest mistake anyone in history has made is one we all make every day. We assume the people around us think and act like we do, hell a lot of feminism is pure projection because of this fallacy.

2. Because of 1. there is a line of reasoning and words that are the stupidest thing ever uttered in history and its, “so look at you big man, what are you gonna do with that gun/knive/baseball bat? Huh, whatta you gonna do kill me?”…..yes, then bam and you are a blood spot on the concrete.

3. Because of 2. you should know about ‘threat displays’ which can include many different things but considering we are animals it’s not hard to realize. Turn on the animal planet channel and watch some gorillas charge and then go watch some guys get into a fight. This is a threat display. SO is gun or fists or even saying with words, “FUCK YOU!”. Male compete and females choose. Most of us guys understand this that’s why we don’t start fights for no fucking reason. But a fight, whether physical or emotional or verbal is nothing more than war.

4. During threat displays your neuroal systems go haywire. Your adrenaline focuses and the mammal part of your brain, the territorial aspect not the logical aspect, takes over and your emotions rule. Men aer better at taking control than women in this regard.

Now to put that all together let’s see how your typical DV fight goes down. Man comes home, woman starts yelling at him(creating verbal war)….they yell, he tells her to fuck off and she escalates by throwing things or pushing or getting crueler with her words. He gets really pissed and then does what?

He throws up his arms, showing signs of defeat. At this point he has given up, surrendered the war. She has won the verbal argument/battle and he is beaten. So he throws his arms in the air and says fuck it I am gone bitch or something like that…then what?

She escalates. She continues to attack with more insults, maybe chases him out into the driveway and pushes and kicks and trying to continue fighting even though she has already fuckin won the war….then what happens…he finally turns around and smacks her and then he ends up in jail.

Now obviously no one should be hitting anyone or even talking to a SO in such a manner but the real question is why the fuck do women do this?

My theory is that women want dominant men and she sees him as less than alpha, so she tries to correct that imbalance by pushing him around until he dominates her. This may be simplistic to some degree and there are many psychological component and for you feminist fucks NO I HAVE NEVER HIT A GIRL! but I have been the guy saying, “Dude, no man fuck it let’s just get hte hell out of here it’s not worth it man no no no no come on dude don’t fall for her shit…oh fuck….she is still hitting him and hes still trying to leave and now she’s calling the cops.”

One reason I think this is the answer is because I have known so many girls that said something like this, “I won’t even date a guy unless he get’s angry…puts his fist through the wall….he needs to show me he cares by being somewhat controlling and ‘passionate’…omg, I know TK he is a asshole and I shouldn’t put up with it….but but the sex is so good afterwards and I really love him….and it’s kinda my fault that I make him that way”

I used to be the guy telling these girls to run the other way, even going as far as helping one or two move out in the night or picking them up if they were afraid until I saw time and again girls starting these fights for no other fucking reason…than what? I am still baffled by the time i intervened like feminists say I should in a couples fight at the fair and almost got my ass kicked by the fucking girl I was white knighting for…

As far as women in the military goes, I want this link please…pretty please.

I wouldn’t doubt for one minute that women in the services are more violent in their relationships. Women don’t control and regulate their emotions as well as men and at the same time they have been taught to compete with men in every way since birth.

The male-female competition inspired by feminism is the worst single thing for men in the west. It’s bad enough we have to compete for jobs but to compete against women in the home and even in the bedroom(competition with other men) is just nauseating after awhile. I have to compete enough in my life without competing with women at every fucking turn. Hypergamous female choice really is fucked up. They want to dominate men to prove they are better but once they do they no longer want those men.

Anyways, great article….keep it up man.

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Y October 27, 2010 at 15:59

I’m going to write a letter to the DailyBeast and let them know about this dishonesty and demand an apology. This type of crap needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP. I may even contact Stacy herself about it.

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Lovekraft October 27, 2010 at 17:12

Simply need to follow the money and find out who is pulling her strings.

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universe October 27, 2010 at 19:44

“I haven’t really slept for twenty years. I lie down, but I don’t sleep. I’m always watching the door. I get up at least five times to walk my perimeter, sometimes it’s ten or fifteen times. There’s always something within reach, maybe a baseball bat or a knife, at every door. I used to sleep with a gun under my pillow, another under my mattress, and another in the drawer next to the bed. You made me get rid of them when I got into this program. Sometimes I think of them – I want to have a gun in my hands so bad at night that it makes my arms ache”.

“I don’t have very long to live. No, Doc, no, I’m not suicidal, it’s just that I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care whether I live or die. I’ve been waiting to die ever since I got back from Viet Nam. When I get that way, my wife, kids – and I really love them – it’s ‘Get the fuck away from me!’ Once when my daughter was younger and I was that way, she came up behind me and before I knew it I had her by the throat up against the wall. I put her down and just walked out of the house and didn’t come back for a week. I felt lower than dogshit…
“I haven’t spent a complete night in bed with my wife for at least ten years. I always end up on the sofa. It’s safer for her, and I don’t have to worry about her when I walk the perimeter. When I was working 16 hours a day I’d come home and she’d already be in bed. I’d do a couple of things in the house and put away a case of beer and a fifth so I’d be able to sleep. I once threw her out of bed so hard it broke her shoulder. I had thought that the VC grenade came in on us. Another time I thought she was VC and I had her hands around her neck before I woke up. Since I stopped drinking I never let myself fall asleep in bed with her. I lie there quiet until she’s asleep and then get up, check the perimeter and lie down on the sofa where I can see the door”.

– Case study taken from, Introduction to, “Achilles in Viet Nam” by Johnathon Shay, MD, PhD.

“I have visited 18 government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men….who were the pick of the nation 18 years ago. Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and classrooms and put into the ranks. They were remolded; they were made over; they were made to “about face; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think of nothing at all about killing or being killed. Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another “about face”. We didn’t need them anymore”.
– Major General Smedly Butler, U.S. Marine Corps http://pathwaytoascension.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/war-is-a-racket/
According to research on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is difficult to predict who will come to exhibit symptoms of the ‘disorder’. No two people sharing similar life threatening experiences will react in similar fashion. Both, one, or none of the two may be effected. Huge numbers of soldiers, estimated in millions, have returned from battlefields with “soldier’s irritable heart”, “shell shock”, “battle fatigue” or, the more modern label, PTSD. Given what we now know of brain functioning, it would be pointless to claim abdication from ‘manhood’ if the men soldiers react adversely to repeated mass death scenarios.

Abuse by combat veterans tends to have its own distinctive pattern that is unlike the recurring power-and-control cycle of abuse described in most domestic violence literature.

– Stacy Bannerman, Daily Beast
‘…it’s own distinctive pattern that is unlike the recurring power-and-control cycle described in most d.v. lit….Likely, that ‘pattern’ has more to do with the after effects of mild to serious traumas than about “power-and-control” as referred to in the poorly defined and politically driven DV literature.

Aside from Bannerman’s Beast article conjuring up more misinformation concerning DV, as found through Carey Roberts’ analysis, at least attention to PTSD is vaguely present as a concern for the men returning from the battlefront. However, the author’s concern appears to be more for the effects of PTSD upon wives of the men themselves experiencing post-service related consequences. Her present domain may have more to do with effected family members but hopefully care to those who need it the most – the soldier – will come first. Military men may have been viewed as potentially expendable while in service to their nation but they live among us now and are entirely deserving of our full attention.

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Nutz October 27, 2010 at 22:16

After reading through the comments it’s clear we’re not the only ones who caught on to her shoddy fact checking. Glad to see others are starting to hold feminist fear mongers to task as well.

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Anonymous October 28, 2010 at 07:44

@universe-However, the author’s concern appears to be more for the effects of PTSD upon wives of the men themselves experiencing post-service related consequences. Her present domain may have more to do with effected family members but hopefully care to those who need it the most – the soldier – will come first.
I agree with you that the service members must come first. With that said though, a large part of a successful deployment and homecoming will depend on how the wife handled the deployment back at home. If she nurtured a strong connection between the children and their deployed father and had emotional support to sustain her through her most vulnerable and weakest moments, she will be better able and ready to welcome her husband home in whatever shape he may be in. Typically the better the wife/mother behind handles the deployment, the more successful the homecoming and reintegration into the family will be for the service member.

A large part of Family Readiness Group mission is to equip spouses and family members to handle whatever happens during the service member’s absence so that he’s not distracted by whatever is going on at home. In a good FRG information is shared about personal safety & health, fostering a father-child bond through the long absence, PTSD and the general weirdness that happens after all homecomings, financial planning, and the myriad other issues essential for military life success. Wives will be educated about important community resources they can reach out to for help and will also receive information of what to look for wrt to PTSD and TBI when their husband arrives home. They will have info on where to turn for help if they need to discuss any post-deployment issues. Some FRGs do better than others with this, but this is what is supposed to happen in a properly ran FRG. (Chaplains usually give talks to soldiers soon to be deploying home or coming back on R&R about pertinent topics on their end, along with all of the debriefing once they deploy home.)

If a soldier’s wife is not resilient and tough enough for military life, there is a good possibility the entire family will adversely impacted and the disaster will be all the more if he comes home with PTSD or a physical injury.

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Hestia October 28, 2010 at 07:46

However, the author’s concern appears to be more for the effects of PTSD upon wives of the men themselves experiencing post-service related consequences. Her present domain may have more to do with effected family members but hopefully care to those who need it the most – the soldier – will come first
I agree with you that the service members must come first. With that said though, a large part of a success homecoming will depend on how the wife handled the deployment back at home. If she nurtured a strong connection between the children and their deployed father and had emotional support to sustain her through her most vulnerable and weakest moments, she will be better able and ready to welcome her husband home in whatever shape he may be in. Typically the better the wife/mother behind handles the deployment, the more successful the homecoming and reintegration into the family will be for the service member.

A large part of Family Readiness Group mission is to equip spouses and family members to handle whatever happens during the service member’s absence so that he’s not distracted by whatever is going on at home. In a good FRG information is shared about personal safety & health, fostering a father-child bond through the long absence, PTSD and the general weirdness that happens after all homecomings, financial planning, and the myriad other issues essential for military life success. Wives will be educated about important community resources they can reach out to for help and will also receive information of what to look for wrt to PTSD and TBI when their husband arrives home. They will have info on where to turn for help if they need to discuss any post-deployment issues. Some FRGs do better than others with this, but this is what is supposed to happen in a properly ran FRG. (Chaplains usually give talks to soldiers soon to be deploying home or coming back on R&R about pertinent topics on their end, along with all of the debriefing once they deploy home.)

If a soldier’s wife is not resilient and tough enough for military life, there is a good possibility the entire family will adversely impacted and the disaster will be all the more if he comes home with PTSD or a physical injury. If she is ready and willing to do the tough work that the lifestyle requires, she will likely be a great blessing to her family.

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universe October 28, 2010 at 14:55

Hestia
I am non-army man, as civilian as they come. The many sacrifices made by soldiers and the lifestyles that go with it are not entirely known and understood by me but respected and appreciated. (Where would we all be without farmers and soldiers/the military, the, among many, vertebrae of a nation’ s backbone).

As someone who frequently considers men’s issues [or lack, thereof] in the context of the larger societal picture, I do appreciate knowing of the other angles of family supports the military provides. Being a man I am going to advocate balancing things with advocasy for men but it is good to hear of the things you’ve mentioned and from another perspective besides just men’s concerns. Thank you for providing me, and other readers here, with these insights.

{* Note: my previous post may look a little confusing because of the “blockquote” font in most of the text. I forgot to close the blockquote feature while writing. My comments followed the Butler link, & the Bannerman quote. Cheers, all. }

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Migu November 2, 2010 at 05:48

What about the guy who comes home to 6 month pregnant wife he hasn’t seen for 12 months?

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Fort Benning July 22, 2011 at 17:46

I would like to say that this article is absolutely ridiculous and appalling.
I hope that you understand that this is a writer who has sincere compassion in her work. My child hung himself last January here at Fort Benning. DO you think anyone cared to hear our story of how the system that was to help us during deployment failed? I can tell you that Stacey Bannerman is the ONLY one that has cared to hear and write about what has happened here at Fort Benning. We ARE dealing with a soldier with severe PTSD and I do know that the violence exists and is covered by all. I suggest you step back and look at your own writing. I do believe it to be a hoax. I am sincerely disgusted and will make sure that I mention this article in our next televised or written interview.
CAREY ROBERTS IS A JOKE!!

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Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 18:13

I think many fail to understand Bannerman’s intentions. Of note- one in three homes had an immediate family member serving in WWII-one in ten for Viet Nam-today it is one in ONE HUNDRED. A vast majority of our population has NO CLUE what a military family endures during a deployment (and I can speak to that because I AM a military spouse). There is a great lack of knowledge (and funding for mental health in the military… Both active/guard and reserve….oh, yea, let’s not forget families). Bannerman’s intentions are to bring forth the outcry for help from families of servicemen – many take our freedoms for granted-if we don’t keep the men and women who keep us free mentally healthy… Kiss that freedom good-bye. Check your “facts” all you want…..if you haven’t walked a step in the shoes (let alone a mile) of a military family….shut up.
I love our military soldiers and their families-its time the civilian population hears the stories…. The good, the bad and the ugly. We should all rally around our troops and their families-they are among the finest. Thank you Ms. Bannerman for your conviction.

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Army wife November 21, 2011 at 18:25

Many of you are missing the boat…..here’s some facts. One in three families had an immediate family member serving during WWII-in Viet Nam it was one in ten-today its 1 in 100….thus, funding for many services needed by a military family during war have been slashed to bare bones….the big one being mental health services. Want to keep your freedom? Enjoy being able to express yourself and speak your mind? Thank a vet. Support our troops and for the love of God-keep our families healthy, both mentally and physically. I believe THIS is Ms. Bannerman’s intentions-

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Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 20:20

Good God-sounds like many of the comments are by paranoid men, reading things into Ms. Bannerman’s article-CHILL and take your Xanax -this is about our military families…who directly correlate to the health of our Soldiers. The healthier our families, the healthier our soldiers-the ramblings gave me a headache!

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