Domestic violence is experienced across genders, races, ages, and sexual orientations. Mental health and domestic violence are inextricably linked. Survivors of domestic violence often experience an array of mental health issues including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance abuse, anxiety, personality disorders, sleeping disorders, eating disorders, and social dysfunction. The effects of domestic violence on the entire family can have dramatic legal and educational consequences, and subsequently break up families, if they are not dealt with vigilantly and compassionately.
Individuals with mental illness, psychologists, and activists yet again are forced to reiterate that mental illness does not lead to violence against others. iustitia has commented on why focusing on mental illness in the wake of mass shootings is dangerous and risks stigmatization. But there is a mental health connection in police involved shootings that has constantly evinced media coverage and consequently, solutions. This narrative serves to conceal a brewing crisis that must be unmasked and that lies at the intersection of police-involved shootings and mental illness.
In response to the increase of OIF/OEF veterans entering the criminal justice system, a handful of courts across the nation began to form veteran-specific court programs. In 2011, the Veterans Treatment Court at the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas (Veterans Court) in Pennsylvania was established.
Despite great efforts by the Veterans’ Administration and veteran-led non-profits to provide mental health care for veterans, the stigma remains in insidious ways. The implicit encouragement of veterans to remain mum about mental illnesses is particularly troubling when one considers that the rate of mental illnesses among veterans is more than double that of average Americans. So, why is the Department of Defense tacitly promoting a culture of silence around mental health counseling and disadvantaging those who seek counseling in promotions and security clearances?
Section 7105 of Title 22 of the U.S. Code, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), a provision enacted in 2005 to specifically protect trafficking victims, entitles individuals to education and training for trafficked persons, promotes safe integration into appropriate communities, and provides physical and legal assistance, including immigration benefits.