Imagine an Army free of domestic abuse
October 12, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The Army prides itself on its values - loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity, honesty and personal courage - and admonishes its Soldiers to live by these attributes.
Unfortunately, a dark side transcends both Army and civilian communities: domestic violence.
Often, unspoken, physical abuse of spouses and children has claimed many lives and ruined many families. October is designated as Domestic Abuse Prevention Month in an effort to bring awareness to this ugly crime.
To highlight its importance, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii began that focus one day early, signing the 2010 Army Domestic Abuse Proclamation, here, Sept. 30.
For the proclamation signing, the Army Community Service classroom was lined with life-sized silhouettes of women and children, and an empty table with place settings - each one containing a true story of individual hurt in domestic violence - or murder.
The ACS Family Advocacy Program defines domestic violence as the use, attempted use or threatened use of forces or violence against a person, or the violation of a lawful order issued for the protection of a person.
Domestic violence is a punishable offense under the U.S. Code of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and state laws.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Keith Ferrill, 65th Engineer Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, explained to the audience that tensions often build between husbands and wives and their children, especially with the Army's current operational tempo.
"We must do all we can to prevent domestic violence before it happens," he said, noting that help is available through military chaplains, ACS, counselors and even battle buddies.
Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI, then signed this year's proclamation that pledges the Army's support in reducing and eliminating domestic abuse.
"We are a stressed force after eight years of war and multiple deployments," Mulbury said. "This difficult issue requires a comprehensive approach to prevent it.
"We must take every opportunity to educate and help individual Soldiers and family members," Mulbury continued, "and we must educate and engage the chain of command - to help (Soldiers) know what resources are available to assist (them)."
The brief ceremony concluded after a moving, personal account of a domestic violence victim with a hope for a brighter tomorrow.
<b>Domestic Violence Reporting Options</b>
Aca,!AcRestricted Reporting is for victims to disclose details of the abuse, receive medical treatment and counseling - on a confidential basis - without triggering an official investigation.
Call the Victim Advocacy Program at 808-655-4779 or Social Work Service at 808-433-8579/6066.
Aca,!AcUnrestricted Reporting is for victims who desire medical treatment, counseling and an official investigation. Call 911, or the military police at 808-655-7114 or 808-438-7114.
Aca,!AcVictim advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to offer assistance with safety and protection, emotional support and community resources. Call 808-624-SAFE (7233).
<b>Domestic Abuse Prevention Month Events</b>
The Family Advocacy Program, ACS, has several events planned in support of Domestic Abuse Prevention Month:
Aca,!AcOctober: Domestic abuse visual display, Main Post Exchange mall, Schofield Barracks.
Aca,!AcOct. 13-14, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Empty plate/silent witness display and information, Tripler, mountainside entrance.
Aca,!AcOct. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Food drive and info booth, Schofield Barracks Commissary.
Aca,!AcOct. 15, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Food drive and info booth, Fort Shafter Commissary.
Aca,!AcOct. 19-20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Empty plate/silent witness display and info, Tripler, mountainside entrance.
Aca,!AcOct. 27, 5 p.m.: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Candlelight Vigil, McCoy Pavilion, Ala Moana Park.
Aca,!AcOct. 28-29, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Empty plate/silent witness display and info, Tripler, mountainside entrance.
Call 808-655-4227 for more details.