Taking Care of its Own: Comparing the United States Military's Transitional Compensation Program with State Victim Compensation Programs
DePaul Journal of Women, Gender & the Law, Vol. 1, p. 77, 2011
31 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2011
Date Written: March 11, 2011
The U.S. Army prides itself on its commitment to “take care of its own.” This ethos signifies that service members and their families all comprise a larger “Army Family,” in which members protect one another. Accordingly, a service member’s family is as much a part of the “Military Family” as the service member. But how does this ethical standard endure when the service member is committing acts of domestic violence against his family? In 1994, part of the National Defense Authorization Act implemented a program through which the military continues to pay a former service member’s dependents if he is discharged from the military for domestic abuse. How does this compensation program measure up to states’ efforts to compensate victims of crimes? By detailing the specifics of the military’s Transitional Compensation program and by taking a broad look at state victim compensation programs, this article sets out to investigate who takes better care of whom, and whether the two systems can learn from each other.
Keywords: Domestic Violence, Victim Compensation, State Compensation, Violence of Crime Act, Violence Against Women, United States Military, Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines
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