This study is the first to estimate the effect of war service in the Global War on Terrorism on domestic violence. We exploit a natural experiment in overseas deployment assignment among active-duty servicemen by relying on theoretical and empirical evidence that, conditional on military rank and occupation, deployment assignments are orthogonal to the propensity for violence. Our results show that assignment to combat substantially increases the probability of intimate partner violence and child abuse. Descriptive evidence suggests that the effects may be explained in part by the stress- and substance use–related consequences of war.

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