Health & Safety

September 27, 2012

Don’t Turn Your Back On Domestic Violence!

Susan Alderman-Schaefer
Family Advocacy Program Manager and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Army Community Service, NTC and Fort Irwin

Every year more than 4 million people in the United States are affected by domestic violence in their homes and almost 17,000 individuals are murdered by their partner.

These statistics are absolutely terrifying and it is no surprise that October is declared National Domestic Violence Prevention Month. We are all potential bystanders to the threat of domestic violence and our role in prevention is of enormous importance.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is one of the Army’s campaigns that focuses on the power of bystanders. Every year the Army has a new theme to promote awareness. The 2012 theme is: Don’t Turn Your Back On Domestic Violence!

Is Fort Irwin affected by domestic violence? YES! In 2011, Family Advocacy Program tracked an average of four new cases of domestic abuse per month. For a small community, these are big numbers. Domestic Violence knows no lines racially, sexually, ethnically or religiously. The most perfect couple to us may lead a nightmarish existence behind closed doors. Every military community is dealing with these issues, especially with the stressors associated with month-long trainings, year-long deployments and the high demands of the military life style. Military couples are at an even greater risk for having violence in their relationship due to these facts.

Under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, domestic abuse includes behaviors such as physical assault, sexual abuse, and stalking, as well as emotional, psychological and financial abuse. An offense involves the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force or violence against a person of the opposite sex, who can be: a current or former spouse; a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common, or; a current or former intimate partner with whom the abuser shares or has shared a common domicile for at least 30 days.

To report domestic abuse or learn about prevention and services, contact the Fort Irwin Family Advocacy Program at 380-4470 or call the 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline at 267-6792.

Family Advocacy Program, Army Community Service activities for October:

  • Oct. 1 – Pick up free decorated bags from the Commissary
  • Oct. 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Domestic Violence Information Booth at the Commissary
  • Oct. 3, 8 – 8 :30 a.m., Radio interview on “The Heat” at 88.3 FM
  • Oct. 5, Domestic Violence Information Booth at the Thrift store
  • Oct. 18, 6 – 8 p.m., Candlelight Vigil at Sandy Basin
  • Oct. 16, 9 a.m., Domestic Violence Awareness Walk at The Blue Track
  • Oct. 26, 6 – 8 p.m., Self Defense Class for Women at the STARZ academy, building 128

Fort Irwin October 2012 Red Flag Campaign

Red Flags stand for abusive relationships. “When you see a red flag say something.” The Red Flag Campaign seeks to raise awareness about how bystanders can speak up when they see the warning signs of domestic/dating violence, and how to recognize the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. For more information go to: http://www.theredflagcampaign.org/

The Family Advocacy program will distribute little red flags around the Fort Irwin community. If you see/find a red flag bring it to the Family Advocacy Program, ACS, building 561 and receive a present.




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