FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 21, 2009) -- The Fort Lee community gathered Oct. 14 for a domestic violence workshop hosted by the Family Advocacy Program as part of Domestic Violence Awareness month.

The workshop featured Monique Rider, BodyLife Dynamics president. A victim of childhood abuse and domestic violence, Rider shared her personal experiences and the skills and techniques she credits with her survival.

Rider said she was seven years old when her mother died in a car accident, her father and grandfather abused her for the next two years. At the age of 16, she married to escape the abuse. Instead of providing a haven from the childhood abuse she endured, Rider's husband emotionally abused her for eight years before she fled the situation.

Rider said her experiences and her drive to provide a better life for her two daughters led her down a path she now shares with others to facilitate changes concerning domestic abuse within communities. The program's theme about making change is similar to the Army's theme for Domestic Violence Awareness Month to make the right choice, act to prevent domestic violence.

"Domestic violence is everybody's problem, everybody's responsibility," Rider said.

Rider linked the focus of the event to a common item found in many homes.

"Domestic Violence is a community problem and there is hope," she said. "This objective is weaved throughout the program with the theme 'Driving Understanding and Change Today helps you Take Action to Protect Everyone' or the acronym DUCT TAPE."

During the workshop community members were given guidance on how to make well-informed decisions by using a step-by-step process Rider created after she changed the path of her life. She encouraged participants to identify the situation, define goals and evaluate the effects of the decision before taking action.

"Much of our curriculum involves encouraging participants to set goals related to the changes they want, determine time frames for those goals, and put accountability measures into place," Rider said. "We use development tools to facilitate that process."

Rider has provided training programs at other installations, including Fort Huachuca, Ariz. Her organization, BodyLife Dynamics, is a coaching company founded on the principles of empowering individuals to conquer their fears and successfully manage life transitions.

This week, the Silent Witness Virginia silhouettes are displayed around post to represent victims of domestic violence homicide throughout Virginia.

The FAP team conducted a candlelight vigil at Williams Stadium on Wednesday in support of the campaign.

"Although the monthly events will end, the campaign lives on as our work for victims who many times suffer in silence is never done," Patricia Harper, FAP manager said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16