In the recent past, the advancement of psychology as a scientific field has expanded significantly by impacting a number of spheres, the law being one of them. In such a manner, forensic psychology as a field that “covers all the aspects of psychology which are relevant to the whole legal and criminal process” provides an opportunity to aid forensic procedures with knowledge about human behavior and its deteriorations (Kumar et al., 2021, p. 2). When pursuing a career as a victims advocate, one must have a high level of expertise in psychology in general and forensic psychology in particular. Specifically, when working with the military population, both in active duty and their dependents, a specialist must incorporate psychological and law knowledge to ensure human rights and justice for vulnerable groups.
Indeed, the military population is considered a vulnerable group due to the difficulties and psychological burden of the profession. According to Sparrow et al. (2017), the military is disproportionately exposed to mental health issues due to post-traumatic stress disorders, “operational deployments and deployment-related injuries, combat exposure, and service-related mental health and behavioral problems” (p. 1060). The application of forensic psychology theories and concepts to the legal work with the military will ensure the implementation of procedures necessary for just and fair court rulings (Maschi & Leibowitz, 2017; Stein & Younggren, 2019). Thus, to serve the military population with evidence basis and proper psychological context understanding, a victims advocate should study forensic psychology.
In summation, interdisciplinary ties have long proven to be productive and effective when resolving complex issues. The complexity of forensic investigations implies the identification of illegal behavior, its predecessors, and its impact. Since human behavior both inside and outside the legal system is subject to psychology, studying forensic psychology is an essential element in the career of an advocate who prepares to work with such a mental health-vulnerable population as the military.
Kumar, S. D., Sharma, S., Ilame, S., Singh, S., & Bhedodkar, V. (2021). Forensic psychology and its role in criminal investigation. International Medico-Legal Journal. Web.
Maschi, T., & Leibowitz, G. S. (Eds.). (2017). Forensic social work: Psychosocial and legal issues across diverse populations and settings. Springer Publishing Company.
Sparrow, K., Kwan, J., Howard, L., Fear, N., & MacManus, D. (2017). Systematic review of mental health disorders and intimate partner violence victimisation among military populations. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 52(9), 1059-1080.
Stein, C. T., & Younggren, J. N. (2019). Introduction: Why forensic psychology in military courts? In C. T. Stein & J. N. Younggren (Eds.), Forensic psychology in military courts (pp. 3–9). American Psychological Association. Web.