The ScreamFree Institute’s mission is to help bring peace to peacemakers. And we know through our work around the globe that peace begins at home. We have historically focused on U.S. military families providing our Calm and Connected Retreats to these vulnerable couples. We know that becoming ScreamFree can increase their ability to survive the traumas of service, deployment, and war. This trauma includes an escalating divorce rate among soldiers with repeat deployments, worsening grades and behavior issues among children of deployed soldiers, and dramatically increased rates of spousal abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, and suicide. And often, children suffer the most. According to a recent studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association and The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine:
- child abuse and neglect rates increase by 195% when the soldier spouse is deployed
- emotional abuse cases increase by 221% upon the soldier’s return
- 17% of children with a deployed parent over a 4-year-period were diagnosed with a mental health disorder
For more details on all of these effects on the whole family, we urge you to check out the Dallas Morning News’ series on the military family.
As the Institute grows its Retreat Program, it will expand its offerings to first responder couples. If you are interested in getting involved in the Institute, please let us know.