Army Community Service, General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation joined forces to celebrate women at the second annual Women's Health Expo Friday at Nutter Field House.

The event, themed "Every Woman Deserves a Lifetime," was held in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness months.

Debra Ward, ACS Family Advocacy specialist, said more than 380 women participated in the program. Women had the opportunity to listen to guest speakers who survived domestic violence and breast cancer; they were able to observe rape aggression and defense demonstrations, and take part in health screenings. Local vendors and organizations were all on-hand to provide health and wellness information and even pamper women.

"We hope everyone took home some information that will contribute to better health and increase awareness of domestic violence," Ward said.

GLWACH's radiology department provided women with information on mammograms and highlighted their importance.

"It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and for us in radiology, we want to make sure women are aware about the need to get mammograms done," said Christy Hausken, radiology technologist. Hausken said aside from encouraging women to take care of their health, she was able to gather important information for herself at the expo.

Safety was also highlighted, especially during the rape aggression and defense demonstrations.

"I have gotten more confidence if I find myself in a situation than I ever got from Army combatives," said Carol Oberwager, demonstration participant.

"One of the scenarios had a guy come up and wrapped his arms around me. Everything I was taught gave me the skills to free myself from the situation," she said.

Maria Vigil, a representative of local women's Veterans of Foreign Wars, said she believes it is important for women to come together to support and empower each other.

"Women know women," Vigil said. "I know in the expression of a woman, I can see some of the things they are going through. Maybe they need a conversation or word I can give them that maybe. We understand each other because we are the same."

A Domestic Violence Awareness 5k Fun Run/Walk is scheduled to help cap off the month at 8 a.m. Saturday starting at Army Community Service, Building 586. The event is free and open to the public. Participants can register at the event and are encouraged to wear purple. For more information, call 573.596.0131, ext. 60212.