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Child abuse and spouse abuse threaten the fabric of our entire society. Concern for the welfare of Navy families and the effects of family dysfunction on military performance prompted the establishment of the Family Advocacy Program in 1976. Today, the Navy Family Advocacy Program is designed to address the prevention, identification, treatment, follow-up, and reporting of child abuse and neglect and spouse abuse.

The Navy's comprehensive response to family violence is designed to prevent or to stop the abuse and to minimize its impact on the family and on the Navy.


Program components include:



Skills for Living Classes (parenting, Anger & Stress Management)



A multi disciplinary team of family advocacy professionals and command representatives recommends an appropriate response to identified cases of abuse.



Family Advocacy cases are monitored to ensure the victim is safe and the perpetrator is making progress. Case follow-up spans 90 day increments to allow time to resolve the immediate problem before reassigning the service member.


FAP rests on the following assumptions:

  • That family violence does occur within all communities, including the Navy community.
  • That family maltreatment is disruptive and interferes with the work performance of the service member and thus with the mission of the Navy.
  • That family violence and neglect is incompatible with the high standards of professional personal discipline required of Naval members.
  • That most perpetrators of family violence are not deviant or incorrigible and that many may be rehabilitated.
  • That victims and involved families are often best served when the perpetrators of family violence are placed in treatment and are available to participate in the family's rehabilitation.
  • That perpetrators of family violence must be held accountable for their behavior and that swift and certain intervention is a most effective deterrent.
  • That rehabilitation of a valued service member is cost effective for the Navy.

According to Naval instruction, all members of the military community have the responsibility to report
suspicions of domestic violence.


Unattended Children

An example of a Family Advocay report received at the FFSC, Fort Meade, is the violation of the "Unattended Children" law. Children must be 8 years of age in order to be left alone in a building or a vehicle. Children must be at least 13 years old to supervise younger children.



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