Community takes stand against domestic violence


FORT IRWIN, Calif. — U.S. Army Soldiers, families and civilians gathered at the Fort Irwin Blue Track for the Walk to End Domestic Violence observance on Oct. 13. The event began with the signing of a proclamation to take a firm stance against domestic violence and to remind victims that assistance is always available.

Garrison Commander, Col. Jeanette Martin, said the signing of the proclamation was, “To let the survivors know we stand to stop the violence, to break the silence. Whether you’re walking, or running, please remember those survivors and know that here at Fort Irwin, we will not tolerate the violence.”

After signing the proclamation by the Garrison Command Team, Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, Commanding General of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, opened his remarks by introducing a new installation policy that will continue to provide the necessary care for victims, in addition to instituting a monthly domestic violence review board.

According to Lesperance, the review board was established to not only provide good programs in place for victims, but to hold people accountable for their actions by ensuring, “legal investigations are closed and in commanders’ hands for ultimate decision,” he said.

The new policy outlines reporting requirements for restricted and unrestricted domestic abuse cases, rights for victims, military protective orders and establishes the monthly domestic violence review board.

In his closing comments, Lesperance said although the installation has good programs in place to provide necessary care for victims, there is always room for improvement in preventing domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is that silent enemy. In order to get left of the boom, it takes engaged leaders who are involved in making a difference in our Soldier’s lives,” said Lesperance. “Domestic violence has no place on Fort Irwin, or in our Army, the buck stops here.”