The Art of Healing: The Bond Between Mothers and Children

By Marie Boles and Jennifer Yingling

Child and Heart
Flickr [Art of Healing by Hartwig HKD, November 16, 2009, CC BY-ND 2.0]
Violence is a scary word for children Violence is even more frightening when it is witnessed.  Both mothers and children engrossed in an environment polluted by domestic violence can lead to detrimental physical and emotional scars.  The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (2013) has adopted a therapeutic method of responding to mothers and children who come from a home of domestic violence, whether it be a civilian or military family. This method is called, “Write It Out: Using Words and Art to Strengthen and Heal Family Bonds.”  The bond between mothers and children are strengthened through creating artistic masterpieces. They believe that writing and drawing can provide an outlet for families to explore their thoughts and feelings in relation to the trauma that each has experienced.   

Verbalizing thoughts and emotions can be challenging for children and parents.  “Children may find expressive projects a safe time to explore feelings for their other parent or family members” [2].  Exposing mothers and children to this medium can create a safe space for both of them to collaborate together.  This collaboration may lead to opening up to one another in a comfortable environment where each mother and child can listen to the thoughts being expressed from each other.  This creative delivery can be valuable to service professionals as they work with mothers and children who were exposed to domestic violence.  Oftentimes, before children are comfortable opening up, getting their mind on another task can be a technique to lead them into the comforting stage of expression.  The questions that service professionals should consider while working with this demographic is, how can we make this family most comfortable?  After learning about the mother and child’s interest, which activity would be most beneficial to them?  When and if this creative expression brings out strong emotions among either/both mother and child, how can I successfully use this medium to respond to their narrative that they are essentially portraying through their art?

Violence in the home often leads to a fractured relationship between a mother and her children. This occurs for a myriad of reasons, including fracturing from coping mechanisms as a means of survival opposed to a means of healing. The Joyful Heart Foundation identifies some these copings methods as “siding with the violent parent, spacing and numbing out of the moment, and creating rituals for safety” [1]. “Experts have concluded that the most important protective resource to enable a child to cope with exposure to violence is a strong relationship with a competent, caring, positive adult, most often a parent” [3]. The various art therapy activities provided by the Vermont Network Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (2013) is a resource that helps strengthen the relationship between mothers and her children. The service professionals bringing forth the activities help determine the type of art technique used based on the clients’ needs and what each client is comfortable with. Storytelling and creating a piece of art based on emotions brought out of the story may work for one child. Another child may benefit from writing out those emotions in a journal. The beneficial aspect of this type of therapy is how versatile the activities are. As service professionals and advocates for these mothers and her children, we must be flexible with the art activities and respect the needs and concerns of the families.  

The outstanding question that remains is how do we use this therapy within our practice and struggling families? The first thing to consider is to understand the client’s unique circumstances to determine the best art technique to use. It is imperative to keep in mind that engaging in certain activities can elicit uncomfortable feelings and memories from the mothers and children. Always make the families aware of the fact that they may discontinue the art therapy at any time they wish [2].

There are other programs within the United States, as well programs in other countries, which provide art therapy for mothers and children recovering from domestic violence. In Toronto, Canada a program geared towards parenting after abuse is titled YWCA Toronto. England offers the D.A.R.T. (Domestic Abuse, Recovering Together) programs for sessions of support for mothers and children. In Marietta, Georgia there is the Art it Out Therapy Center which provides services to individuals of any age.



[1] Effects of Domestic Violence on Mothers and Children. (2015). Retrieved from

[2] Hart, S., Jones, A., Maynard, J., Scanlon, A., Torchia, A., Williams, S., & Wilson, P. (2013). Write it out: using words and art to strengthen and heal family bonds. Retrieved from

[3] Groves, B.M., & Zuckerman, B. (1997). Interventions with parents and caregivers of children who are exposed to violence. In J. Osofsky (Eds.), Children in a violent society (pp. 183-201). New York: Guilford Press. 

This post was written by Marie Boles and Jennifer Yingling, guest bloggers for the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Marie and Jennifer are masters-level marriage and family therapist (MFT) in training enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at Valdosta State University. They also work as MFT interns at VSU’s FamilyWorks Clinic, a community-based family therapy clinic. You may find more about the authors, here. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD team on our website, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.

The Last Transition…or Not


Reflections on Todd & Peggy Podcast #3
By Karen Shirer, Associate Dean

 The audio recording below is the third part of a conversation with Todd, a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, and his wife Peggy, an elementary school teacher. Peggy and Todd generously shared some of their experiences as a military family, to help those of us serving military families have a better understanding of what they go through. Below the recording you’ll find a blog post reflecting on this part of Todd and Peggy’s story. This is part 3 – The Last Transition…or Not


 Listen to Todd & Peggy Podcast #2
Listen to Todd & Peggy Podcast #1

The Last Transition … or Not

“When one parent in a family serves in the military, the whole family serves. Military life requires great commitment and sacrifice not only for the service member but also the spouse, children and other family members.”

The above thought occurred to me as I listened to podcast #3 where Todd and Peggy reflect back on their experiences as a couple and a family with children as he pursued his military career. Military service with its deployments, weekend trainings and other demands impact the whole family and not just the service member.

In this podcast, Todd and Peggy discuss their next transition – retirement from the military. Their experience shows how important it is for couples to discuss not only the timing of this transition but also what it means for their relationship and their family.

As a couple, Todd and Peggy agreed that he will retire from the military either in 5 years or if he is deployed again. They decided that as a family they did not want to go through the experience of another deployment.  However, both Todd and Peggy recognized that after retirement, the military will remain an important part of their everyday lives.

Military service itself is not so difficult – military members train for it – but separation from family can be very difficult. It takes a toll on the children who tend to become more connected with the stay-at-home parent. Peggy talks about being a single parent during deployments and Todd described feeling that his relationship with his children at times was not as “tight” as Peggy’s.

Long deployments also can negatively impact a couple’s marriage. Todd notes that many marriages do not survive the separations of military service. Couples not only need to spend time preparing for the financial aspects of deployment but also for the relational and emotional aspects.  Todd believes that the military could do more to prepare service members for these latter challenges.

Todd and Peggy were the fortunate ones; the podcast interview shows that they weathered those difficult transitions and developed an even stronger marriage. However, significant numbers of military marriages do not survive.

When asked to give one word to describe his military service, Todd said “service” to country and that he dedicated his life to the military. Peggy responded with the word “pride,” saying that she was proud of everything Todd has done. Despite the hardships, both Todd and Peggy were proud of his accomplishments and felt that the sacrifice was more than worth it.

In your work with military members and their families, consider how you might help young service members who are just marrying and beginning their families to prepare for the impacts of military service. What steps can they take now to ensure that they are like Todd and Peggy as they approach retirement with pride and meaning?

Karen Shirer is a member of the Military Families Learning Network Family Transitions Team and the Associate Dean with the University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Family Development. Karen is also the parent of two adult daughters, a grandmother, a spouse, and a cancer survivor.



Military Caregiving Webinar Announcement: Test Your Caregiver IQ

March 2016 Webinar AnnouncementMark your calendars for our upcoming MFLN Military Caregiving professional development webinar entitled, Test Your Caregiver IQ!

Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Event Location:

Find out how much you know about today’s caregivers by testing your caregiver IQ in this webinar session. Your caregiver IQ will highlight your overall understanding of who caregivers are, their similarities and differences, challenges and joys they experience and ways you can support them. This interactive session will provide a Q&A style format with participants and will dive further into the necessary content using the questions asked in understanding this unique audience.


Mary Brintnall-Peterson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin – Extension and owner of MBP Consulting, LLC, will be presenting. Dr. Britnall-Peterson is a returning webinar presenter for the Military Caregiving concentration and provides over 20 years’ experience as an educator of family caregivers, both in personal and professional caregiving arenas.

Interested in Joining the Webinar?

Registration is required to join the webinar, but can be completed on the day of the event. Also, we will be offering Certificates of Completion for those that may be interested in receiving training hours for attending the event.

To join the webinar, simply click on Test Your Caregiver IQ The webinar is hosted by the Department of Defense Connect System (DCS), but is open to the public.

For those who cannot connect to the DCS site, an alternative viewing of this presentation will be running on Ustream. Mobile option for Ustream is available for Apple and Android devices.

This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on March 4, 2016.

FD Early Intervention Webinar: Principles of Adult Learning

How to Support Parents and Professionals in Early Intervention: Principles of Adult Learning

Date:  March 17, 2016

Time:  11:00 am – 12:30 pm Eastern


Mom and baby
Flickr [A Day at Normandy Park with Jaece by Easy Stand, December 10, 2009, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
Carol M. Trivette, PhD will set the framework for how adults learn and how they can learn to implement new practices and modify current ones to have the greatest impact on young children. Dr. Trivette will discuss specific topics including:  (1)  A systematic way to develop and present new information to effect change in practice, whether in “coaching” sessions with families or professional development sessions with colleagues (2) How to implement new practices or modify current practices to meet the needs of military families facing unique circumstances such as deployment, relocations, and post-combat challenges and (3) Adult learning tools and resources, which participants can apply to their work with families and colleagues.

This MFLN FD Early Intervention webinar offers CE Credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois. The EI team is actively pursuing more CE opportunities in states other than Illinois. Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia participants can obtain a certificate of completion to submit to their credentialing agencies for review for CE credits. Please check back frequently to the webinar Learn Event web page to receive updates on our progress. Access to the webinar Learn Event page can be found here.

For more information on future presentations in the 2016 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: (Facebook & Twitter)

Audiocast Trans Fat Update with Dr. Kristi Crowe-White and Dr. Karen Champman-Novakofski

Flikr The US Food and Drug Assoc Avoiding Trans Fat, June 11, 2015

Blog by Robin Allen MSPH, RDN, LDN

Click here for the audio cast Trans Fat Update with Dr. Kristi Crowe-White 

More key take aways from the Trans Fat Update webinar according to Dr. Crowe-White:

Trans Fats = partially hydrogenated fats which negatively influence HDL and LDL among other adverse health effects

Fully hydrogenated fats contain no double bonds which mean there is no place for a trans bond.  Thus, these act like saturated fats in the body.

Do not focus on the word hydrogenated but rather on the adjective preceding it.  Partially hydrogenated fats are TRANS FATS.  Fully hydrogenated fats act just like saturated fats in the body.

I hope this webinar and audio cast clears up any confusion about trans fat, sources of trans fat and implications for health and nutrition in your practice.


This post was written by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website, on Facebookon Twitterand LinkedIn.



Helping Military Families Transition from an IFSP to an IEP

Watch as Audra Classen, PhD shares with the MFLN FD Early Intervention team how providers can help military families transition from an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) to an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  Also check out the links to several useful resources for providers below.

Dr. Classen writes:

Early educators who develop a detailed IFSP/IEP document, which can be transportable to the next school district, build “trust” and a “personal connection” with military families. Listening to families and developing a detailed IFSP/IEP may prevent families from experiencing a less than satisfactory and frustrating experience when they transition to a new education setting.  Preventing discourse and promoting a positive family professional partnership is ideal for supporting young children and their families. In addition, some school personnel should consider each military families’ situation to determine if expediting the special education process is appropriate. Expediting the process can be a proactive way to demonstrate responsiveness towards military families’ unique needs thus providing relief and comfort to parents that full and appropriate services are in place sooner. Furthermore, when school personnel take the time to actively engage military families in the IFSP/IEP process, the family gains a sense of control which can be particularly important given the lack of control families are experiencing in other areas of their family life during relocations and deployments. For parents, this sense of control and accomplishment in terms of their child’s education may prevent feelings of defensiveness and/or anxiousness and promote better child and family outcomes.

A transcript of this video can be found here.

Be sure to click on the following resources:


Audra Classen, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at The University of Southern Mississippi in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education. Her expertise lies in supporting the academic and behavioral development of young children from birth to age eight.  Dr. Classen is actively engaged in research to develop culturally responsive and family-centered services for military families and their young children.

4 Very Serious Implications of Identity Theft

By Ayesha Haider, BA, MBA, AFC Candidate

Credit Card Theft by Don Hankins
Credit Card Theft by Don Hankins

Despite the attention that identity theft has received over the past few years, many of us still view it as a minor crime that happens once in a blue moon. While we take measures to protect ourselves from burglary, theft and other more “threatening” crimes, many Americans lack the awareness or resources to protect themselves from having their identities stolen. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports that financial identity theft is the most common type of theft, followed by government and medical identity theft. Furthermore, a 2015 Gallup poll reported that while the incidence of credit card fraud in 2015 declined by 5% last year, the incidence of identity theft among Americans increased by 4% and that 16% of individuals interviewed had been victims of identity theft. Identity theft has been called the fastest growing white collar crime in America by the Office of the Inspector General and, with more than 1 in 10 Americans being targeted, it is crucial for you to learn how identity theft can affect you and your family.

  1. Your Credit Report/Score: The financial consequences of having your identity stolen are far-reaching and may have long-term implications. A thief can use your identity to apply for credit, open additional accounts and access a host of other financial resources. These activities can impact your credit report – a resource that is used by employers, insurance agencies, and potential lenders to assess your financial well-being.
  2. Access to Credit: Identity theft can have a long-term effect on your credit score if the thief obtains new loans or accounts under your name. Your credit score is used by banks and other institutions to assess your suitability for a loan and also to determine what interest rate to charge you. Frivolous activity on your account as a result of identity theft is likely to result in your being denied access to funds, or in your being charged a higher interest rate.
  3. Bank account: Given access to a few key pieces of personal information, an identity thief can obtain access to the funds in your checking, savings and investment accounts. Your funds can be used to purchase goods, obtain cell phones or utilities in your name, or the funds can be drained from your account.
  4. Terrorism: While the relationship between identity theft and terrorism may seem a bit far-fetched, the reality is that identity theft has played a major role in many terrorism incidents, including 9/11 and the recent attacks in Paris. Nefarious individuals can use your identity to create fake IDs that allow them to cross borders undetected, or purchase resources in your name that cannot be traced back to them.

Identity theft is slowly but surely becoming the most common white collar crime of our time. The above list addresses just a few of the ways that you and your family can be impacted by having your identity stolen. Be proactive in protecting yourself and your assets against identity theft by following these 10 simple steps.

For more ways to prevent becoming a victim of identity theft, join our March 15 webinar, Identity Theft: How to Reduce Your Risk with Dr. Barbara O’Neill and Carol Kando-Pineda, Counsel in the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education division.


Reflection on Todd & Peggy Podcast #2
By Sara Croymans, Extension Educator

The audio recording below is the second part of a conversation with Todd, a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Nurse Corps, and his wife Peggy, an elementary school teacher. Peggy and Todd generously shared some of their experiences as a military family, to help those of us serving military families have a better understanding of what military families go through. Below the recording you’ll find a blog post reflecting on this part of Todd and Peggy’s story. This is Part 2 – Resilience.

Todd_Peggy podcast 2 pic

Listen to Todd & Peggy’s story, Podcast #1


As I listened to Todd and Peggy describe the challenges and opportunities their family experienced while a military family I was impressed with their resilience throughout the numerous transitions their family encountered. When I think about resilience I often think about it in terms of “FACTS”, a framework developed by the Red River Resilience (RRR) group in the Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN community. I believe the RRR’s resilience framework is applicable to military families. “FACTS” is an acronym that describes five key actions that contribute to resilience.

F = “Foster Hope,” involves focusing on the positive, having confidence in oneself, and putting things in perspective.  Throughout all three podcasts Todd and Peggy described a ‘can-do’ attitude that their family could successfully navigate each transition they encountered.

A = “Act with Purpose,” endorses problem-solving, planning and goal-setting, and active coping. There is no doubt in my mind that Todd and Peggy possess ample amounts of these skills.  Balancing a two career family and children, one with special needs, plus a military reserve commitment requires immense organizational skills!  I was impressed with how both Todd and Peggy stepped up to leadership roles as they gained experience in the military to help junior enlisted members and their families.  Todd describes in this second podcast how he intentionally mentored younger service members on how to successfully balance life while Peggy has served as an ombudsperson to help those with questions and challenges.

C = “Connect with Others,” encourages people to maintain intimate relationships, give and receive help, and spend time with others.  Peggy shared how early on in their military life she “thought she could do it all” without any help from others.  However, she soon learned that she needed to reach out and ask for assistance, such as asking a close friend and her parents to join her at medical appointments for their daughter.

T = Take Care of Yourself,” I could hear in Peggy’s story that as the non-military spouse she really felt like she had to be there for everyone all the time and did not take advantage of opportunities to take time for herself.  She shared regrets of not taking the opportunity to travel to visit Todd at really cool places while he was training or deployed without taking the children with her.

S = “Search for Meaning,” includes searching for positive meaning, self-examination, and personal growth. Both Todd and Peggy talked extensively about their pride in being a military family and the sense of purpose that service provided for them.  They display their pride through wearing Navy clothing and having specialized Navy vehicle license plates.  However, with recent terrorist activities across the world they now intentionally make decisions about how visible they want to display that pride for fear of harm.

As service providers working with military members and their families how can we help promote resilience? How can we encourage military families to foster hope, act with purpose, connect with others, take care of themselves, and search for meaning during times of transitions?

To learn more about the “FACTS” resiliency framework, used during disaster recovery, read “One Message, Many Voices: Inter-Disciplinary Partnerships for Resilience Communication” (2014) published in Procedia Economics and Finance, 18, 400-407; available online at: .

Sara Croymans is a member of the Military Families Learning Network Family Transitions Team and an Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota, Extension Center for Family Development. In addition, she is a military spouse.  Sara and her husband, retired from the Army National Guard, and three children navigated 22.5 years of weekend drills, annual trainings and two deployments.

Addressing Complex Problems Within Networks

“Our responsibility is to really facilitate that across the entire state to start thinking like a network rather than an organization, and then our role as a statewide that we get to think like a movement.”

Think about it. Not Extension as an organization, not Extension as an institution, but Extension as part of a movement.

It’s been about a year since Steve Judd shared the book “Connecting to Change the World” with me. At the time I had been thinking about networks for years. I believed, and still do, that Extension professionals should be using networks to fuel their professional development and reach out to the people they serve.I didn’t fully understand, however, that Extension could be involved networks working to address complex problems.

Problems like climate, obesity, food security are difficult or impossible to solve because the knowledge around them is incomplete or uncertain, they are interconnected with other problems, and the situations around these problems keep changing. The traditional “expert” model and Extension’s dominant theory of change, diffusion of innovation, are inadequate to deal with these problems. Networks are particularly suited to addressing the issues around complex problems because they generate more solutions, more quickly; they are resilient, quickly filling voids when a person leaves; and they provide a way of approaching these problems from many different angles.

“Connecting to Change the World” tells the stories of collective action networks that are making a difference. It also includes information on why these diverse, decentralized networks were able to accomplish things no single organization, even Extension, could. Most importantly, the authors share strategies for building and strengthening networks that can collectively do meaningful, impactful work.

This book launched a conversation within the Network Literacy Community of Practice and the Military Families Learning Network. It also led me to seek out more information on collective action networks and Extension professionals who were working within them.

Which leads me back to the quote above from the conversation below. Some Extension professionals are already working within collective action networks and thinking deeply about what that means. I had the opportunity to talk with four of them. Jamie Bain, Noelle Harden and Stephanie Heim of University of Minnesota Extension are working within networks around food systems. They are also authors of the report, “Cultivating Collective Action: The ecology of a statewide food network.” Jeff Piestrak of the Alfred R Mann Library, Cornell University, has worked within networks to promote resilient agriculture and healthy food systems in New York state and beyond. Our conversation focused on why Extension should work within networks, what roles Extension professionals could play within networks, how Extension professionals could start thinking and behaving more like a network, and more.

Please share your thoughts, reflections and questions in the comments section below.

Download audio version

Bob Bertsch seeks and shares insights on weaving collaborative networks. He’s currently a web technology specialist with North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication and engagement coordinator for the eXtension Network Literacy community of practice. You can find Bob, @ndbob, and engage in this conversation using the hashtag #ExtCAN, on Twitter.


Victims of Sexual Violence in Impoverished Communities

By Erica Arambulo and Brianna Brown

Let's Unite Against Rape
Flickr [GCIS’s Day of Action Against Rape by GovernmentZA, February 11, 2013, CC BY-ND 2.0] retrieved on February 28, 2016
Incidents of sexual assault, especially rape, are significantly underreported in our society. The shame behind rape and sexual violence keeps many victims from seeking help and often times, upon seeking help, experience secondary victimization [2]. In the United States, nearly 1 in 3 women have survived physical violence, and 1 in 10 have survived rape [1]. Few victims have access to effective treatment plans and many avoid treatment altogether because of the culture of secrecy behind sexual assault. Rape victims are at a high risk of experiencing psychological and/or physical problems that can negatively impact their well-being. When experiencing problems such as psychological distress or medical issues, victims may lack the financial means to seek outpatient or inpatient services for recovery. Unfortunately, their recovery may heavily rely on barriers such as their socio-economic status and financial aptitude.

While all social classes experience violence, research suggests that people with lower socio-economic status are at greatest risk. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, persons in poor households below the Federal Poverty Level had more than double the rate of violent victimization as persons in high-income households [3]. Hence, it is pertinent that service professionals are aware of client demographics in an effort to fully understand the context of dysfunction. Facing many economic adversities, while processing traumatic aftereffects of sexual violence, can lead to long-term detrimental repercussions. If professionals lack an awareness and knowledge about diverse populations, backgrounds, and the social barriers that they face, professionals may overlook the best possible plan. Members of the military from lower income economic status who have been exposed to sexual assault may be less aware of the resources they have available. It is important to create an environment where such members can learn about the resources at their reach. In the military, members are more likely to face shame, guilt, anxious or distrust others when reporting the assault [2]. This can further expands their distrust towards the resources they have available. The environment for recovery must be sensitive and suitable for the needs of these victims. Meeting sexual assault and rape victims where they are, professionals are better equipped to provide necessary services to clients in a way that does not promote further harm, embarrassment, or shame.

To decipher this epidemic some researchers developed the “asset theory” which asserts that poverty and sexual assault reinforce each other in a cylindrical pattern. This cycle is initiated when the devastating physical, psychological, and behavioral consequences lowers one’s work performance, earnings, and create more economic instability for those who lack assets [4]. The cycle continues as the individual’s low asset/ income increases their risk of experiencing sexual violence. Those who are well off financially have the assets to recover from the trauma more so than the victims who are less financially established. Due to more stability, resources, and long-term relationship investments, marriage actually serves as a protective barrier against violence [5]. In impoverished communities, marriage is less common; especially in predominantly African American and Latino communities where there is a low female-to-male ratio [5]. More longitudinal research is needed to help mental health and other service professionals better understand the lack of resources available to clients residing in impoverished communities.

When encountering clients that are suffering from sexual violence we must be empathetically sensitive and aware of our clients’ needs. It is our responsibility to take a stand for our client’s safety, validate feelings of shame/secrecy, and strengthen their coping skills and support systems. Still, providing our clients with the appropriate resources and education to fit their needs is also an essential to recovery. Increasing “asset ownership” may be a key ingredient to decreasing the existence of sexual violence [4]. Micro-financing and financial empowerment of US women may also be promising alternative approaches to prevent violence overall in US impoverished communities [5]. Yet, there is still a dire need for financial literacy programs, culturally sensitive trainings and support services, and the creation of individual development accounts (IDAs) for poverty ridden individuals [4]. Now that you are knowledgeable of these implications, how will you raise public awareness to sexual violence services and policies in your community? What programs are available in your community for sexual violence victim? How will you choose to spread the word?


[1] Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., et al. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 summary report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[2] Campbell, R., & Raja, S. (2005). The sexual assault and secondary victimization of female veterans: help‐seeking experiences with military and civilian social systems. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29(1), 97-106.

[3] Harrell, E., Langton, L., Berzofsky, M., Couzens, L., & Smiley-McDonald, H. (2014). Household Poverty and Nonfatal Violent Victimization, 2008–2012. Retrieved from

[4] Loya, R. M. (2014). The role of sexual violence in creating and maintaining economic insecurity among asset-poor women of color. Violence Against Women, 20(11), 1299-1320.

[5] Montgomery, B. E., Rompalo, A., Hughes, J., Wang, J., Haley, D., Soto-Torres, L., & Hodder, S. (2015). Violence against women in selected areas of the United States. American Journal of public health, (0), e1-e11.

This post was written by Erica Arambulo and Brianna Brown, guest bloggers for the MFLN Family Development (FD) team which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Erica and Brianna are masters-level marriage and family therapist (MFT) in training enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department at Valdosta State University. They also work as MFT interns at VSU’s FamilyWorks Clinic, a community-based family therapy clinic. You may find more about the authors, here. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD team on our website, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.