Stressed military families and the attendant suicides, violence, and child abuse are growing in number and severity.
El Paso County Texas child abuse case numbers are set to surpass 13,000 this year. Mental health issues and military suicides impact children in profound ways. There is more pain than people in the military can deal with & it explodes in rage, abuse, and death.
What do you think about the impact of suicide on the children of the over one thousand MN veterans that have committed suicide? If you know the children of a suicidal parent you know torture.
The daughter of one of these suicides (who had been a dear friend) called me this year a few days after her father killed himself.
There has never been a more difficult call to take. There are no good answers and the questions linger for lifetime.
Safety nets are evaporating and a percentage of our community has decided that we just can’t afford to help people (Minnesotans share of the wars over the next 2 years is 30 billion dollars, but we do not have the 6 billion dollars for our schools, roads, and communities).
The stresses that impact military families are just the tip of the problem in our troubled communities. Poverty breeds stress that impacts children in a similar fashion. Violence and abuse become more common.
Our inner cities and military families need relief to insure that children are safe and suicide rates come back down.
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El Paso County’s child abuse case numbers are up 9 percent this year in military families and are set to surpass 13,000 overall, according to reports by the Associated Press and KRDO -TV.
Crime statistics from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office show 42 cases of child abuse, 302 cases of domestic violence, and 65 attempted or completed suicides from January through May this year alone.
As The Huffington Post reported in February, El Paso surpassed Denver as the largest county in the state this year; the county can now also add the highest number of child abuse cases in the state to its list of titles according the Colorado Springs Gazette. The Board of County Commissioners raised awareness of the issue in April, dubbed “Child Abuse Prevention Month in El Paso County”, with an additional military family outreach program called the Child Welfare Military Project.
Executive Director Sandra Hernandez of Centro de La Familia, an advocacy and counseling group, told KRDO-TV:
In the military population there was always a problem because of the stressors, and that was when we weren’t at war. Now that we are at war, and we’ve got these soldiers going to Iraq and Afghanistan for the fourth or fifth time, there is a high contribution factor to abuse occurring.
In July, El Paso County received $3.7 million from the state to help fund its human services department and ease the burden of abuse referrals.