Fast Take: Addressing domestic violence in the military
Stars and Stripes February 14, 2023
Celina, the ex-wife of a former Special Forces soldier who she alleges abused her, her children and the family’s pets as the Army did nothing to help her, recounted her story to co-host Jack Murphy in the previous two episodes of Military Matters.
In this Fast Take, Murphy and co-host Rod Rodriguez examine how domestic violence continues to be a problem for the Army, the military and the world at large.
Murphy had previously attempted to tell Celina’s story in an article, but he found the details so disturbing that he stopped writing it partway through, he said. In revisiting the story for Military Matters, he hoped to finally do right by Celina and shed light on the way the Army failed to handle this case.
(Lt. Gen. Francis Beaudette, who was commanding general of Special Forces at the time these events unfolded, and the Army Special Forces Command did not respond to requests for comment for this report.)
“What upsets me is the way the military fails to handle it a lot of times, even today, even as the public is much more aware,” Murphy said. “Unfortunately, they're much more aware through stories like Celina's, through stories like Vanessa Guillen, you know, all the stuff happening at Fort Hood and Fort Bragg. You know, the public knows, but the military is just such a large bureaucracy. It takes decades for the ship to change course.”
Rodriguez had words of advice for not only victims of domestic abuse, but perpetrators as well.
“We often talk about the abused, and we always tell them, get out, seek shelter, find programs, and that's great.” Rodriguez said. “But here's the thing: If you're an abuser, you need to seek help. You need to get out of those relationships, stop hurting those around you, start doing the work. And it's hard work figuring out why you have these issues with anger, why you're doing the things you're doing. But I will say, you're fixable.”
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Follow Jack Murphy on Twitter @jackmurphyrgr and Rod Rodriguez @rodpodrod.
A transcript of the episode can be found here.
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