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Military Personnel: Status of Implementation of GAO's 2006 Recommendations on DOD's Domestic Violence Program

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Congressional committees

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National estimates indicate that approximately 1.5 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted or raped by intimate partners in the United States annually. Congress, in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, required the Department of Defense DOD to 1 establish a central database of information on domestic violence incidents involving members of the armed forces and 2 establish the Department of Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence. The law charged the task force with establishing a strategic plan that would allow DOD to more effectively address domestic violence matters within the military. In fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003, the task force issued three reports containing almost 200 recommendations to improve the safety of victims, accountability of offenders, coordination among support-service providers, and recording of data on cases of domestic violence. To coordinate implementation of these recommendations, in January 2003, DOD established a Family Violence Policy Office to ensure that DOD and the services took appropriate actions in this area. This office was located in the Military Community and Family Policy Office, which is in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. DODs Family Advocacy Program office, responsible for providing treatment for domestic violence victims and rehabilitation for offenders, is also located in the Military Community and Family Policy Office. In 2003, members of Congress requested that we assess DODs progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, and we subsequently issued a report in 2006 stating, among other things, that DOD had taken action on a majority of the task force recommendations but that DOD had not captured data from all law enforcement and clinical records involving domestic abuse cases and that until it had complete and accurate data.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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