Promoting prevention at the House Armed Services Committee

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Today, I gave testimony to the House Committee on Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Hearing titled “Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows.”  I spoke about the need for the armed services to invest in prevention efforts.  Other panelists included courageous survivors telling their personal stories and colleagues from the National Resource. Center on Domestic Violence and the Battered Women’s Justice Project.

Based on my experience doing sexual and domestic violence prevention work in communities (including work with service members),  through CALCASA’s national project PreventConnect and my work with sport with the national partnership RALIANCE, I highlighted some key prevention resources including the Blue Shield of California Foundation Report A Life Course Framework for Preventing Domestic Violence and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan: A Technical Package of Programs, Policies, and Practices.

Most importantly, the armed services need to invest in prevention.  I wrote in my testimony:

It is essential to respond to the needs of survivors in a trauma informed manner, assert the dignity of all people, and to hold those who have committed abuse accountable. However, those responses after violence has occurred are not sufficient to prevent such forms of violence from happening in the first place, nor are they sufficient to prevent them from happening in the future. Only with an intentional investment in prevention, will we be able to change the culture that creates the conditions which allow domestic violence, and other forms of violence, to continue, to a culture that is free from domestic violence and other forms of violence.

Watch the entire hearing below (my testimony begins at 58:58), and click here to see my entire written testimony:

 

David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project Prevention Connection, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 29 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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