YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea --Domestic violence appears to be on the rise in the military, so much so that the Department of Defense considers it an item of specific concern. U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan held a proclamation ceremony to increase awareness, Oct. 1.

The ceremony began with a speech given by Barbara Barnett, a victim advocate at Army Community Services. Barnett noted that it is crucial to deal with domestic violence as a community. She also informed the attendees of the ceremony about various events the ACS runs concerning domestic violence.

"We want to make sure that our families are strong," said Barnett. "We are a part of the solution in helping eliminate domestic abuse amongst our fellow service members, families, and civilians. In order to cope with domestic violence, ACS and the Family Advocacy Program are working together, supporting and promoting programs including programs for families experiencing deployment stress, martial counseling and anger management classes. Please join us to end domestic violence."

The ceremony was then followed by speech and proclamation signing by Brig. Gen. Chris. R. Gentry, deputy commander of Eighth Army, and Col. Michael. E. Masley, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan.

"There is no place for domestic violence in the Army," Masley said. "Domestic violence is against the Army's philosophy, and it negatively impacts mission readiness. As a community, we all have a responsibility to respond and take action to reduce the prevalence of family violence."

Masley also emphasized the importance of ending the 'Don't ask, Don't tell' attitude towards domestic violence.

"Get involved in this," said Masley. "This is your community. Take a stand in the life of your community. If you see something, say something. There hasn't been a single case of criminal domestic violence in the history that could not have been prevented if some outside person who saw something had said something."

More information about programs concerning domestic violence awareness and hotline for domestic violence is available at: DSN: 153 & COMM: 05033-64-5997