Veteran status has been associated with increased rates of interpersonal violence, with veterans perpetrating violence up to three times as much as civilians, which can be largely attributed to combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or to a prior history of trauma.
Adapted from the Community Circles of Support for Veterans' Families program, Strength at Home is a relationship-strengthening intervention for veterans/service members and their families and friends designed to address conflict, anger, and readjustment to civilian life after deployment. The intervention is designed to prevent intimate partner and interpersonal violence by helping participants develop effective communication skills to improve relationships with others.
Strength at Home Intervention
The Strength at Home intervention pairs veterans with relatives or close friends within a group setting to help reduce the sense of isolation and enhance social support. By using cognitive behavioral therapy-based treatment, Strength at Home offers veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) a non-medical and evidence-based intervention. This intervention is intended for veterans who are experiencing relationship difficulties and may be at risk for intimate partner or interpersonal violence, not those actively committing violence. The mission of Strength at Home is to advance the clinical care of America's veterans and service members through research, development, and dissemination of evidence based treatments for stress-related disorders.
Download a five-page Strength at Home Overview with infographics.
Download Preventing Violence in Veteran and Military Families: A Guide to Understanding a Promising Community-Based Intervention
Findings indicated that Strength at Home was a successful program for veterans and their families, effective in decreasing verbal aggression, PTSD and depression symptoms, and increasing relationship happiness. While there were obstacles encountered in the recruitment and attendance of participants, these challenges were addressed by the program staff during implementation of the intervention. See Evaluation of the Strength at Home Intervention for more detailed findings.
About the Project
The National Center on Family Homelessness, in partnership with Dr. Casey Taft of the National Center for PTSD, managed the Strength at Home demonstration project in Central Valley, CA, from 2010-2012. This project was funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation.