'Imagine an Army free of domestic abuse'
September 30, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- "Imagine an Army free of domestic abuse."
This is the Department of the Army theme for October - Domestic Abuse Prevention Month - and something on which post officials hope people take time to consider and educate themselves.
Domestic abuse is a complex social issue that affects people around the world, including Soldiers and military Families, said Stella Davis, Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program manager.
"Preventing domestic violence is about being proactive versus reactive," she said. "It could happen to any one of us. It crosses all demographics, from private to general."
ACS staff is spending the next month educating the community about its role in preventing and eliminating domestic violence and what to do when the crime is encountered.
Several free events are hosted throughout October to inform the public about abuse.
<b>Wear Purple Day</b>
Community members are encouraged to dress in purple Oct. 7. Purple is the nationally designated color to recognize Domestic Abuse Prevention Month. By wearing purple clothes, ribbons and accessories, people show their support and raise awareness for preventing abuse, said Davis.
"The key is bringing abuse issues to (community members') attention," she said. "If we keep abuse education out there, people don't get so complacent."
<b>Self defense class</b>
A self defense techniques class is Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility. On- and off-post instructors will teach participants how to de-escalate potentially violent situations, how to use everyday items as self-defense mechanisms and how to physically defend themselves using a variety of martial arts techniques, according to a FAP victim advocate. Victim advocates must remain anonymous due to the nature of their work.
<b>Couples Aloha Paradise</b>
To make a serious topic more fun, FAP hosts a Couples Aloha Paradise Fun Night Oct. 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. at West Beach Lake Tholocco. Activities include hula dancing, limbo contest, luau costume contests and other games. Taking time to laugh, talk and have fun can help strengthen relationships and mitigate stress and abuse, another victim advocate said.
<b>In Her Shoes </b>
In Her Shoes, a presentation highlighting the difficulties of leaving an abusive relationship, is Oct. 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Bldg. 8950 on Seventh Avenue. Seventeen different stations simulate situations abused individuals must deal with to overcome violence. Booths include shelters, human resource offices, churches, Family and friend's houses and abusive home life.
The presentation shows participants how hard it is to live with domestic abuse.
"You need to walk a mile in her shoes. It's not easy or cut and dry," Davis said.
She said she hopes this hands-on activity shows people how difficult dealing with abuse can be, and how challenging escaping it is.
<b>Preventing Domestic Abuse Workshop</b>
A proactive class, a Preventing Domestic Abuse Workshop, is Oct. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 371G. Discussion topics include dynamics of domestic abuse, reasons why people stay in or leave violent relationships, the cycles of violence and more.
For more information or to register for FAP events, call ACS at 255-9644 or 255-3898.
Editor's note: This is the first in a two-part series on Domestic Abuse Prevention Month and resources available on post to mitigate abuse.