“1 is 2 Many”- recognizing National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the U.S. Army is doing its part to help combat violent behavior. The awareness campaign aims to highlight the prevention, intervention and services provided by communities addressing domestic violence. This is a very important issue, and we need to stay focused making people aware of the impact it can have on Soldiers, Spouses, Family members and everyone else involved. I wanted to let all Service members and spouses know there are organizations and support systems in place to help.

With Soldiers experiencing multiple deployments and hardships associated with Afghanistan and Iraq, many Soldiers and their Families are under terrible stress. The Army is recognizing this and is stepping up its outreach to remind the Military community about programs in place to prevent domestic violence and to ensure people know what where to turn if they experience or witness it. There are a lot of options on the installations that offers a wide variety of programs and classes for Military members and their Families. If you are not on an installation or access is limited, Military OneSource is another great resource that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Military OneSource will connect you to a specially trained victim advocate who will help you understand your options and assist you in keeping you and your children safe.

The Family Advocacy Program, FAP, is responsible for addressing violence in military families through prevention, early identification, intervention, victim support and treatment for abusers.

The program’s staff members work with commanders, military law enforcement personnel, medical staff and family center staffers and chaplains, as well as civilian agencies, to provide a coordinated response to domestic abuse.

After speaking with the staff here at the Fort Bragg Family Advocacy Program, I learned some things that will help you bring awareness to Domestic Violence:

·         Mentor young people that violence is not acceptable.

·         Promote general domestic violence awareness by talking to your friends and family about this issue.

·         Offer support and understanding to a friend or family member that you may be concerned about.

·         Support your friends and family by informing them of resources that can help them if they are experiencing relationship problems.

·         Become active in domestic violence prevention activities on your installation or in your local community.

·         Report to law enforcement officials or your local family advocacy program if you suspect abuse.

View Presidential Proclamation for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month here.

Blog post submitted by Crystal Cavalier, the 2011 Army Spouse of the Year.