The military family is the foundation for members serving in harm´s way, worldwide.
Occasionally, military members can be under a lot of stress or even suffer from significant debilitating injuries; it can be too much. Often, abuse or even abandonment of the military family is the end result. Clearly, the military member needs help, but so do the families. Change is needed.
The National Military Family Advocacy Organization (NMFAO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for the military family, protect the rights of the military family, and help restore services and protection often denied to military families due to abandonment or abuse from a military servicemember.
Spouses and children who have been abandoned and/or abused by a military servicemember often fall through very large gaps between civil and federal law, and military jurisdiction. For example, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was intended to protect soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen from civil judgments and litigation while they serve overseas. Unfortunately, these same laws have been used to cut off housing, food and basic living support for the military family by the military servicemember. The military does not have any authority concerning civil issues; therefore, the family finds themselves abandoned and deserted by the military servicemember and their country. Local support agencies will not provide basic life support needs for a military family as their funds and resources are limited for use by their citizens. Typically, the military family is told to return to the military base and work through them. As the base has no authority over civil matters and no resources for abandoned and deserted military families, the spiral begins. The military family has no place to go; they are hungry and homeless.
We seek to increase awareness of these situations by providing continuous advocacy to our Legislators and are working with them to correct the system. Additionally, we serve as an advisory to military spouses and their families.
NMFAO seeks empowerment, justice, and preservation of the military family-the cornerstone of our warfighting forces.
The National Military Family Advocacy Organization (NMFAO) Vision Statement
NMFAO seeks to ensure there is justice and protection for military families. We work to implement and correct federal laws and federal pre-emptive laws. As we support military families, we also desire to assist Military Commanders, JAG´s, State and Federal courts, and Congress to understand the rights and protections of military families.
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September 8, 2021:
"As w/sexual violence, DoD has turned a blind eye to domestic violence for too long. These heartbreaking stories show the urgent need to act. My HASC-approved NDAA reforms to take these cases out of the chain of command are a crucial component. We must keep ALL servicemembers safe"
-Hon. Chairwoman Jackie Speier, House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel
September 7 and 8, 2021:
Roughly 100,000 incidents of domestic abuse have been reported to the military since 2015, CBS News found. The military has not kept comprehensive data on the problem so it's impossible to assess the full scope. And while the Pentagon has made combating military sexual assault a priority and formed an independent review commission to address the problem, the new investigation reveals domestic abuse is a similar crisis on the home front. Some survivors told CBS News they felt they were in more danger after they reported.
"It was severe betrayal": Military has failed to address domestic violence, survivors say; Military's domestic violence crisis compounded after 20 years of war; The Pentagon has spent $1 billion on a program for domestic abuse victims since 2015. Survivors say they couldn't get help
NMFAO is honored and grateful to have collaborated with CBS News on Combating domestic violence in the military: A new, two-year long CBS News investigation reveals the defense department is dealing with another crisis on the homefront, domestic violence. Countless Military Spouses/Former Spouses and Military Children are waiting for their protection and justice due to tyranny, corruption, collusion, and civil judicial and military system's failures, while being punished, destroyed, and led to death for reporting fleeing domestic violence and abuse in our military.
Military's Domestic Violence Victims Interviewed; Featuring a clip of September 18, 2019, Subcommittee on Military Personnel: Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows with our Vice President, Ms. Rohini Hughes
September 7, 2021: In a statement to CBS News after our report aired, secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall wrote:
I am extremely troubled by the claims of inappropriate handling of domestic violence complaints highlighted in your broadcast and have directed the Department of the Air Force Inspector General to conduct a comprehensive review of those cases. The review will address not only the investigation and disciplinary actions associated with these cases, but also the support provided to victims. There is absolutely no place for sexual assault, sexual harassment, or domestic violence in the Department of the Air Force.
September 8, 2021: In a statement to CBS News, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wrote:
Sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence continue to plague our ranks. These crimes have profoundly damaging, and sometimes lethal consequences for service members and our families, and fundamentally impact our combat readiness. While I cannot comment on individual cases, I take these issues, and the impact on the men and women of the services, and their families, with the utmost seriousness. One of my early actions as Secretary of Defense was the establishment of an Independent Review Commission on sexual assault and harassment in the military. In July this year, the Commission made 82 recommendations addressing accountability; prevention; climate and culture; and victim care and support. So here's what we're doing. First and foremost, we are working closely with Congress on legislative proposals to remove decisions about whether to prosecute sexual assaults and related crimes-including domestic violence-from the military chain of command. Second, the Department will create dedicated offices within each service to handle these specific crimes. Third, we have asked Congress to formally add sexual harassment as an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Finally, my team and I are reviewing an implementation roadmap for the many other thoughtful recommendations included in the IRC's report.
Taken together, these are among the most significant reforms to our military in decades. Additionally, I have directed immediate steps across the Department to understand what is happening at the installation and unit level. We are assessing compliance with sexual assault and harassment policies and visiting bases around the world that are either showing promise to identify solutions or illuminate bright spots and export best practices. We continue to focus intensively on increasing prevention efforts, training, and streamlining and improving accountability mechanisms. And as always, we continue to focus on the care and support we offer victims. The women and men of our armed forces dedicate their lives to defending our nation, and deserve a workplace and home free of sexual assault, sexual harassment and domestic violence.
President Biden has placed an unprecedented priority on tackling this problem, and we've moved out quickly and deliberately to address it. I believe that bold action, commitment, and accountability are required, and that is exactly what we have, and will continue, to do. This is not a short-term problem and will not be solved by short-term strategies. It requires sustained action and commitment at the highest level of the Department of Defense - every commander, civilian leader, and member of the force must be a necessary part of the solution. Our people and our readiness are inextricably linked. These crimes endanger both. We find that unacceptable, and we aren't afraid to change what we do, how we prosecute and how we better prevent them. This is a leadership issue, and we will lead.
Our very own, Ms. Rohini Hughes, NMFAO Vice President/Co-Founder and Jay N. Hughes, NMFAO Military Youth Advisor, and Simran Dunn (Hughes), have been fighting for their protection and justice by seeking assistance from the United States Air Force, Joint Base Andrews, MD, and Hurlburt Field, FL, since 2014 due to domestic violence and abuse by their perpetrator, a #USAF #JAG and a VA/DC/MD #FamilyLaw attorney. This perpetrator was promoted to "LT COL" a month after the September 18, 2019, Congressional testimony given by Ms. Rohini Hughes and Jay N. Hughes, instead of being held accountable by Lt Gen Jeffrey Rockwell, The Judge Advocate General, Department of the Air Force, among other senior Military leaders, have failed to hold countless perpetrators accountable for the domestic violence and abuse in our military.
We continue to advocate for Late Dr. Nashwa Holt, found dead on Mother's Day in 2019, while fighting for protection and justice for herself and her two sexually abused boys by a USAF officer. Countless other victims in our military families who have been destroyed by judicial tyranny and have committed suicide or have been killed by their abusers in our military finally have the Members of Congress and Senate's attention. Our civilian Judicial system does not bring any resolution, protection, or justice either in Military Divorce and Custody trials due to FAPA or Fake Allegations of Parental Alienation, a disturbing practice being used by family court judges across the nation to strip custody of protective mothers and award abusive children to their abusive fathers. #FAPA
According to Fairfax County Circuit Court, Fairfax, VA and public records, NMFAO’s VP/Abused Military JAG Spouse/Congressional Witness needs legal representative for a defamation suit from an Air Force JAG Lt Col Matthew (Matt) E. Hughes due to her Congressional testimony on domestic violence and communication with the military command. NMFAO is requesting assistance with pro bono representation and referrals to assist Ms. Rohini Hughes in this suit. Our Military silences the victims while empowering the abusers by failing to hold them accountable for abuse and therefore the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel: Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows held a hearing on September 18, 2019
We appreciate your continued support towards the abused, deserted, abandoned and often homeless military families. Military families need your support and prayers!
1. Slander Summons for Service_Complete 11.06.2019
2. Abuse Email and Rohini Simran and Jay Hughes Response
3. Subcommittee on Military Personnel: Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows
4. Congresswoman Speier Holds First House Armed Services Committee Hearing on Domestic Violence in Over 15 Years
5. U.S House of Representatives Committee Repository: Hearing: Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows - Subcommittee on Military Personnel (Committee on Armed Services)
6. Opening Statement, Chairwoman Jackie Speier: Subcommittee on Military Personnel - Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows (September 18, 2019)
7. House Armed Services Committee - Subcommittee on Military Personnel Hearing: “Keeping Our Service Members and Their Families Safe and Ready: The Military’s Prevention and Response to Domestic Violence”
8. U.S Department of Defense- Outreach Key in Addressing Domestic Violence
Subcommittee on Military Personnel Hearing: “Keeping Our Service Members and Their Families Safe and Ready: The Military’s Prevention and Response to Domestic Violence”
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
(3:00pm ET – Virtual via WebEx – Open)
Ms. Amy Logan, Survivor | Ms. Jessica Strong, Co-Director of Applied Research Blue Star Families | Ms. Brenda Farrell, Director, Defense Capabilities and Management Team Government Accountability Office
Colonel Steve Lewis, Family Advocacy Program Manager Department of the Army | Colonel Andrew A. Cruz, Chief, Air Force Family Advocacy Program Department of the Air Force | Ms. Crystal Griffen, Deputy Director Family Support Commander Navy Installations Command | Ms. Lisa Eaffaldano, Assistant Branch Head, Prevention and Clinical Services United States Marine Corps | Ms. Patricia Barron, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, United States Marine Corps
Witnesses, Experts and Department of Defense testifying before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel
18 Sept 2019
Testimonies by Survivors and Advocates
Ms. Kate Ranta, Ms. Rohini Hughes,
Ms. Leah Olszewski
Military & Veterans Advocacy Experts
Mr. Brian Clubb, Mr. David S. Lee, Ms. Arlene Vassell
Mrs. A.T. Johnston, Mr. Kenneth Noyes
We are grateful to Congresswoman Jackie Speier for holding the 1st House Armed Services Committee Hearing on Domestic Violence in Over 15 Years. Additionally, we are grateful to 3 courageous journalists at Huffington Post for being stellar leaders in exposing the Domestic Violence/Abuse in our military.
click images to enlarge
United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Studies
Our Co-Founder and Vice President, Ms. Rohini Hughes and Military Youth Advisor, Mr. Jay N. Hughes among many of our clients as Military Spouses and Children were part of these GAO studies and report. Please feel free to cite any findings from these GAO studies and reports in your civil cases. Thank you.
Child Welfare:Increased Guidance and Collaboration Needed to Improve DOD's Tracking and Response to Child Abuse
Published: Feb 12, 2020. Publicly Released: Feb 12, 2020.
Actions Needed to Enhance DOD’s Prevention, Response, and Oversight
Published: May 6, 2021. Publicly Released: May 6, 2021
Dr. Nashwa Holt, Air Force Spouse
STUDIES AND COLLABORATIONS
MS. JOAN MEIER, Esq., Professor of Clinical Law and Director, National Family Violence Law Center at GW George Washington University Law School (Founder, Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project)
Joan S. Meier (2020) U.S. child custody outcomes in cases involving parental alienation and abuse allegations: what do the data show?, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 42:1, 92-105, DOI: 10.1080/09649069.2020.1701941
Our, Vice President, Rohini Hughes personally participated in the pilot program for It's weWomen Plus study for Immigrant Women's Safety, Health, and Well-Being by John Hopkins School of Nursing because of her lived experiences as a victim; combined with NMFAO's continued collaboration and support as the project launched in January 2021.
MS. KELCI REISS, MAPA | Research Program Coordinator
It’s weWomen Plus | Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
NMSAO has passionately served the Military spouses since 2015 and today we are proud, grateful and humbled to announce our new advocacy organization, the National Military Family Advocacy Organization (NMFAO).
We are taking another step in our mission to recognize and strengthen the entire military family unit by incorporating military children and becoming “family focused". The new organization has been incorporated in Virginia as a non-profit entity with its application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status pending before the IRS. NMFAO’s mission is to serve Military families and to provide a platform for both military spouses and children to voice their concerns and trials, always keeping in mind that the Military children of today will proudly become the Military servicemembers of tomorrow!
NMFAO has prayerfully created this new platform and will soon be operational, providing valuable and much needed additional resources and information to better serve the Military families. We are grateful for your continued support and prayers.
Do you know that Military Spouses and Children serve our nation as much as the Servicemember?
Do you know how many times the Military Spouses suffer and sacrifice through each relocation and deployment while serving the military, family, community,
faith based organizations, schools, at each new duty station?
Do you know how many service members suffer from Mental Illness caused by relocations, deployments to War Zones resulting in Domestic Violence? Do you know that Mental Health Evaluations are optional and not mandatory for service members returning from war zones?
Can you guess how I am going to grow up healthy after what I witness?
Do you know how many times I have
abuse and abandonment?
Do you really know how many Military
are actually ABANDONED every day?
Despite some new protections patched into family law for victims of violence against women, the family law and family court system remain a flawed and risky venue for victims of family violence. It's especially risky for victims who present claims of violence and abuse in family court without any criminal case documents to back up those claims.
The structure and powers of the family court system are radically different from the criminal system. By understanding these differences, victims and advocates can minimize the risks of family court, and get the best of each system to work for them.
Part I of this text describes some of the key differences between the family and criminal court systems. It explains why family court is so prone to fail victims of family violence. Part II provides some strategies for avoiding family court when possible, or for protecting against the risks when a family court case is opened. Parts III & IV provide some general tips for handling your family court case.
Part V offers some tips on what to do if you lose in family court, particularly if you lose child custody. And Part VI tells a story of how one domestic violence victim who had become badly trapped in family court hell, ultimately managed to get free.
Most people mistakenly think that the difference between family court and criminal court consists mainly in the different issues these courts deal with. It's a mistake that can seriously endanger victims of family violence who too often trust that the family court system is built to protect her in much the same way as the criminal system. Nothing could be further from reality.
Read the full article at http://www.justicewomen.com
This is finally exposed! So you can only imagine the number of unreported and unrecorded Domestic Abuse cases towards the Military Spouses and Children!
“The lack of attention paid to domestic violence reporting is alarming. An estimated 1 in 3 American civilian women (33 percent) endure intimate partner violence during their lifetime, according to data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. VA statistics indicate similarly that 36% of female active-duty service members experienced domestic violence, a number that’s likely low due to underreporting in the ranks; for female veterans, it’s as high as 70%, per the VA.”
Wow! Well, we can tell you without hesitation that this is not true data at all because many cases go unreported due to the collusion between Commanders, Family Advocacy Programs and Inspector Generals! The messily data collected by the military entities does not even get reported to the State Government while the Pentagon shows a decline in every possible area of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Military Divorce. Where is the Justice?
"In God we trust, through God we serve."