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Transitional Compensation Program provides help for dependent victims of abuse

RAF MILDENHALL, England --

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and victims of abuse may be eligible to receive help from the Transitional Compensation Program to help them get back on their feet.

The TCP is a congressionally authorized program for abused family members of military personnel. It authorizes temporary financial support for families in the event the active-duty service member has been administratively separated or court-martialed for a dependent-abuse offense.

Family advocacy works in conjunction with the base legal office, military personnel flight and finance, to help dependents navigate the process of the TCP.

“If the active-duty member’s sentence includes a forfeiture of all pay and allowances, we check to see if the dependent is eligible to apply for this benefit and then provide them with the necessary paperwork,” said Julia Dailey, 100th Air Refueling Wing Judge Advocate victim and witness assistance program coordinator. “We give the victim a handbook on the TCP, and talk them through what happens next.”

Many dependent victims cite financial support as one reason why they don’t report a domestic violence situation.

“A mother who has children and has taken on the caretaker role, while her active-duty spouse is the sole income earner, may not feel financially secure enough to leave for herself and her children,” said Jeridith Lord, 48th Healthcare Operations Squadron domestic abuse victim advocate. “Knowing she can get financial help from the TCP provides her the opportunity to report the allegations.”

It should be noted, however, that if the victim remarries or moves back in with their abuser while in the process of seeking or claiming the benefit, their entitlement ceases immediately.

Although the TCP application cannot be started until the active-duty member has been separated or convicted, help for victims is still available from the 48th Medical Group at Royal Air Force Lakenheath.

“Family advocacy exists to help people who have survived maltreatment situations,” said Lord. “The options we offer depend on what the victim wants for their situation. We offer anything from classes to individual counselling,  early return of dependents, financial assistance, or accompanying victims to legal appointments. Family advocacy is a one-stop shop for any resources that a victim would need.”

They also offer other resources for victims, including maltreatment intervention, a wide variety of classes ranging from strength identification to anger management, and couples counselling.

For more information, visit military one source, call family advocacy at 01638 528070; the RAF Mildenhall legal office at 01638 542028 or the RAF Lakenheath legal office at 01638 523553.