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Spouse/Child Abuse -- Question & Answer Listing  
Question / Answer

What are some signs and/or indicators of spouse/child abuse?

Spouse or child abuse can be physical, sexual, or emotional. Physical neglect of a child is also a form of abuse. The most obvious symptoms of abuse are physical ones such as severe bruises, scratches, burns, broken bones and/or internal injuries that could have resulted from being hit, thrown or beaten and often times the reluctance or vagueness about where these injuries originated. Symptoms that a child may have been sexually abused may be precocious behavior, sexual knowledge or behavior that is beyond normal for their age, chaffing around the genitals or other physical signs that may indicate inappropriate touching or behavior has taken place. Emotional abuse is harder to identify, but abused children (or adults) often act withdrawn, quiet and have a lack of self-esteem. Symptoms of physical neglect can be poor physical hygiene to include dirty hair, unwashed clothes or soiled diapers and/or other physical features that are symptomatic of poor nutrition. Note that this list of symptoms is not conclusive. However, if you suspect someone is a victim of spouse abuse, urge the individual to seek professional help. There are a number of agencies that can assist victims of domestic violence, offering confidential counseling, financial, and medical assistance. Contact your local child protective services agency, police, hospital, or emergency hotline if you suspect a child is being abused.

What is Transitional Compensation?

Transitional Compensation (TC) funds are given to victims (typically family members) who are in need of financial assistance because the military sponsor’s finances or benefits were reduced or cut off due to the domestic violence incident. The benefits include both monetary as well as other military benefits such as medical, commissary privileges, etc. (dental as well - if space is available). They are provided for 1 - 3 years based on the Soldiers date of separation.

Where can I get information on spouse/child abuse related issues?

In addition to local, State, and Federal social work service agencies that provide shelters for victims of spouse or child abuse, or information about abuse, your local Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) can also provide you with information and assistance regarding spouse/child abuse. The FAP offers classes to educate couples about such abuse and to help strengthen family relationships to deter this type of behavior. Additionally, each FAP has a Victim Advocacy Program that supports and protects victims of abuse. Consult your phone book for Domestic Violence Hotlines or visit online resources such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline website or the National Council for Child Abuse and Family Violence website for more information.

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