Fort Irwin walks to end domestic violence

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FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Soldiers, civilians and family members gathered at the Fort Irwin Blue Track for a Walk to End Domestic Violence led by Commanding General Brig. Gen. Jeff Broadwater Oct. 12.

“Domestic violence affects family, friends, co-workers and the entire community,” said Broadwater.

Participants were asked to spend time during their walk talking about how domestic violence affects the Fort Irwin community and what can be done to take a stand against such actions.

Abuse in a relationship is any act used to gain power and control over another person.  Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, religion or age.  It can and does occur in the form of physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.

According to domesticshelter.org, servicemen and women face additional challenges when it comes to escaping from or reporting abuse.  Abuse among military couples is also vastly underreported, as survivors often fear repercussions from their abuser should he or she be demoted as a result of reporting abuse.

The Army Family Advocacy Program on Fort Irwin is dedicated to domestic and child abuse prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment.  AFAP provides a variety of services to Soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life.  The program’s goal is to empower victims to make the choices that are right for them. Two reporting options are available: restricted, which is confidential but can still meet many survivors’ needs; and unrestricted, with involves command notification and law enforcement investigation.

“The scourge of domestic violence runs contrary to our shared Army values,” Broadwater said.

As they stepped off on the Walk to End Domestic Violence, Broadwater challenged the Soldiers, civilians and family members of the National Training Center to pledge to take action if they witness, or are a victim of, domestic violence.

To report domestic abuse, call the 24/7 crisis response operator at 760-267-6792.