Marine Corps Base Quantico – Military family members who suffer from domestic violence face many obstacles that can deter them from reporting to authorities, including the threat of financial hardship, said Anita Payne, clinical supervisor at the Family Advocacy program aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.
"That has been one of the struggles for a lot of the victims — many of them don't know how they are going to make it without financial support [from their military spouse]," Payne said.
However, the "Transitional Compensation for Abused Family Members Program" is an option that can help alleviate financial strain when leaving an abusive relationship. It provides monetary compensation for a minimum of 12 months and maximum of three years. The amount is based on the rate for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. Chip Toney, one of the victim advocates at FAP who helps process the application said, it typically takes around six weeks to start receiving benefits. Additionally, dependents would continue to receive medical care, dental care and access to the commissary and Marine Corps Community Services.
Victims of abuse can apply through victim advocates at their installation's Family Advocacy Program. At Quantico, there are three victim advocates including, two in the FAP trailers next to the Firestone auto shop on Barnett Avenue and another advocate at Cox Hall on the west side of base.
The benefit is available to spouses and children. To be eligible, dependents must have been living with the service member. Also, the service members must be separated from active duty due to dependent abuse and the offense must be listed by the command as one of the reasons for military separation.
The money is designed to assist family members in establishing a life apart from an abusive service member, but more importantly, Payne said, her hope is that it serves as motivator for the victim to leave a bad situation before it worsens.
"Just knowing there's a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of transitional compensation, could help [victims] make the decision [to leave] a lot quicker and with ease before a situation gets too volatile," Payne said.