Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Graphic Illustration by MC2 Kegan E. Kay
Graphic Illustration by MC2 Kegan E. Kay

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by: Eldotha W. Fields NAFA Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate | .
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published: October 03, 2014

Domestic abuse is never acceptable. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, domestic abuse includes criminal behavior such as physical assault and stalking, as well as noncriminal behavior including emotional, psychological, and financial abuse.

It crosses all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds and is in every community.

In support of preventing domestic violence, what would you do in response to witnessing a physical assault? The concept of bystander intervention is to help prevent and end domestic abuse.

In the case of domestic violence, a “bystander” is a shipmate, family member, friend, neighbor, coworker, or anyone who has witnessed an incident of abuse.

If you suspect someone has experienced domestic violence, bystander education involves teaching people how to take responsibility in situations that involve violence and/or potentially harmful behaviors. The behavior of the bystander can be important in changing accepted norms and behaviors of the perpetrator and victim. The bystander’s role could be to intervene appropriately, speak out to the perpetrator about hurtful behaviors, or to support the victim.

Many people choose to do nothing for fear of actual or potential violence. A positive approach to being supportive and getting involved is to know that bystander intervention is for everyone.

The more we recognize domestic violence as a problem, the easier it is to create a safer community. Active bystanders understand safe interventions and take the initiative to help. Overcome the apprehension of being labeled “nosey” or interfering with something that is “not your business.”

The Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse.

The program provides a variety of services to sailors and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life.

If you are the victim of domestic violence, please call FFSC Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate at 080-5471-0970. An advocate is available to you 24/7.

FFSC offers classes on life skills-based education, individual/couples/family counseling, and much more.

For more information on FFSC and the classes offered, please call DSN 264-3372.

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