Submitted to VT by CBS News:
Part 3 of 4:
EXCLUSIVE CBS NEWS INVESTIGATION FINDS THE MILITARY IS FAILING TO SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SURVIVORS AND HOLD THEIR ALLEGED OFFENDERS ACCOUNTABLE
IN PART THREE OF THE FOUR-PART SERIES, NORAH O’DONNELL SITS DOWN WITH AN ADVOCATE WHO’S WORKED WITH HUNDREDS OF VICTIMS. SHE SAYS RESOURCES OFFERED BY THE PENTAGON AREN’T ENOUGH AND THE CONSEQUENCES ARE DIRE
MORE OF THE SERIES WILL AIR TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY SEPT. 8 ON “CBS EVENING NEWS WITH NORAH O’DONNELL” (6:30-7:00 PM, ET)
Highlights from part three:
Before Lisa Colella became an advocate for domestic violence victims, she managed a restaurant near Camp Lejeune. Her staff started coming to her about problems at home after their spouses returned from deployments. Colella tells O’Donnell about “100 [servers]… were military spouses” and “half….maybe more” told her they had been victims of domestic violence.
Colella says survivors told her about how their partners “were angry, that they were drinking more. That they were blocking them out of bank accounts, that all they had was their tip money to feed their children.” Colella adds she doesn’t think victims are safe after reporting domestic violence in the military.
The military offers domestic violence survivors a benefit called transitional compensation; a stipend intended to help victims pay for basic living expenses after they leave an abusive home. Colella says, “In all of the 700 people I’ve spoken to, I’ve only known two that have said that they even qualified for it, and only one that could show me a record of payment for that….the criteria is almost impossible to meet.”
Colella tells O’Donnell she’s helped hundreds of survivors and only seen two cases go to a court-martial. “This is significant trauma. Women who are abused have a very difficult time seeking employment, staying with employment. There’s the consequence of losing health care. There’s the consequence of not being able to support your children and having them taken from you.”