Family Advocacy Program promotes domestic violence awareness

  • Published
  • By Capt. Wade Wheeler
  • 17th Medical Operations Squadron
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It is estimated one in every four women are victims of domestic violence, which includes emotional abuse and neglect.

Domestic violence can affect all groups of people regardless of gender, age, race or sexual orientation. The military community's greatest strengths in preventing domestic violence are its personnel.

This October, please join the Goodfellow Family Advocacy Program in bringing awareness to domestic violence and the ill effects caused by domestic violence to all in our military community.

Domestic violence is more than physical abuse. Emotional abuse and neglect are very serious and are also considered domestic violence. Abusive actions used by a person in a relationship to control another person in that relationship including name calling, threats of physical harm, withholding emotional support, and controlling access to finances, family or friends, are examples of emotional abuse.

Another form of domestic abuse is neglect which most often occurs when a child, elderly person, or disabled person is purposely denied essential care by their caregiver. Examples of neglect include lack of supervision for minor children and failure to meet the medical needs of the elderly or persons with disabilities.

Victims of these types of domestic violence are often unaware or afraid to report the abuse because of fear or a perceived lack of resources. If you have experienced or know someone who is experiencing abuse please report the abuse to your leadership, the Family Advocacy Program, or a Chaplain.

Domestic violence occurs within our military community and every type of relationship. It is very important to remember that ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM. Although men can be victims, most victims are women and children, and the violence that occurs is most often perpetrated by a man.

In order to stop the violence and affect a permanent change in our community, men should acknowledge their role as the likely offender in these crimes against loved ones and pledge oaths of protection to the women and children that are so often the victims of these senseless crimes. Domestic violence destroys lives, families, and careers.
Domestic violence is a readiness issue; it degrades unit cohesion, destroys lives of our military members, and has very negative impacts on mission capabilities. Keeping this in mind, it should come as no surprise that domestic violence is intolerable in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is our mission within the Air Force Family Advocacy Program to prevent or treat all suspected instances of domestic abuse within our military family.

The Family Advocacy office provides prevention services such as anger management, couples communication classes, parenting strategies, and new parent support. Our programs are designed with you in mind, and are geared towards the unique circumstances our military community experiences. We work with all active duty members, their spouses, children, and intimate partners.

During the month of October the Family Advocacy Program will partner with other base helping agencies to bring awareness to domestic violence. The Family Advocacy Program team will set up an information table at the Base Exchange on select dates throughout the month, post weekly domestic violence statistics on the 17th Medical Group Facebook page, and bring prevention to each squadron. Take time to reflect on the importance of domestic violence awareness and join the Family Advocacy Program in any or all of these activities.

For more information on the Family Advocacy Program call 325-654-3122.