The month of October is observed as Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month across the nation. Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, or IPV, is an issue that continues to affect lives across the country and in our military. IPV is not a pleasant subject to discuss but vitally important to bring awareness in order to sustain, support and enhance a desirable quality of life for families.
The Army goal in observing Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month is to promote healthy individual and relationship growth through the awareness that help for Family problems is available for all Army Families. The goal is that the Army Family is knowledgeable and willing to report domestic violence for the safety of everyone in the Family and the community.
This year‘s theme is “Don’t turn your back on domestic violence.” Many Families do not willingly seek help for services due to fear, embarrassment, denial that there is an issue or for other reasons. It is important to recognize signs of abuse and to encourage action. Some of the signs to recognize include: unexplained injuries; one or both partners use insults to try to make the other feel bad about themself; or one or both partners seem very controlling or jealous. As a community, recognizing these signs and reaching out to help others can be done. Don’t ignore the signs.
Reaching out isn’t necessarily reporting or hassling the party or parties involved to tell what is going on. It is letting them know someone is concerned about their well-being and assure them they are not alone. Some ways one can reach out include: listen and do not tell the party or parties what to do; give helpful literature to a party; share the number to the Family Advocacy Program Hotline, 1.520.508.2772; assist with finding local resources; help them make a plan if they decide to leave; and call 9-1-1 if there is reason to believe that a person is in danger of being hurt or killed.
Don’t give up. Be patient and understand that it can be a process before a person is motivated to see change. Those who seek help can gain substantially from resources and programs the Army offers. The Army’s respect and concern for Army Families is clear- Army Families are the Soldier’s strength.