VICENZA, Italy (Oct 2, 2019) -- U.S. Army Garrison Italy marked to start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Oct. 1 in a proclamation and pledge signing ceremony at Army Community Service, by the Family Advocacy Program.

A series of presentations throughout the community during the month will highlight the importance of helping domestic violence survivors and those who may be reluctant to speak up and seek help.

Col. Daniel J. Vogel, USAG Italy commander signed the Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation in front of more than three dozen community members and encouraged everyone to do their part.

"Today we renew our commitment to those victims of domestic violence who feel ignored or are afraid to come forward and don't speak up. We need to be part of the solution. If you see something, say something. Do not feel like you have to remain silent," said Vogel.

Domestic violence is defined by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women as, "a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner."

"On average, one in four members of our community are impacted by domestic violence. Look around this room of people who are here today. There are people here right now who will feel unsafe going home today. Home is the one place where we should feel safe. This is why understanding domestic violence is so important," said Janine Harper, USAG Italy's FAP manager.

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels, and can occur in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships, whether married, living together or dating.

Domestic violence also affects the victim's family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and even the community the victim lives in. Witnessing domestic violence not only predisposes children to social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life. This increases their risk of becoming society's next generation of victims and abusers.

The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) has planned a month-long series of events.

Help shine the light and raise awareness every Wednesday in October by wearing purple.

Are you looking for more information? A Domestic Violence Awareness Month Information Booth will be at the Vicenza Exchange on Oct. 16.

The garrison remembers The International Day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss with a "Wave of Light" vigil at Hoekstra Field on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m.

Get fit and colorful as ACS hosts a 5K Color Run on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. It begins at Hoekstra Field. Wear a white shirt!

Have little ones that want a play date? A Purple Play Group for children happens on Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. at Hoekstra Field.

Get rid of old toys and find new ones at the Family Toy Swap scheduled Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. in ACS Bldg. 108.

FAP and the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) will host an allergy-free and sensory-free Halloween trick or treating event will be held in ACS building 108 from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information on these events, please visit the USAG Italy Family and MWR website: Italy.armymwr.com