By Sophia Lee and Peter Cho, USAG Humphreys Public Affairs InternsFebruary 10, 2020
CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea -- A Domestic Abuse Victim Advocacy Justice Symposium was held, in the Army Community Service conference room, here, Jan. 30.
The Family Advocacy Program partnered with various community speakers, from on and off post, during the symposium to educate participants on the FAP, Korean law and the Military Justice System.
More than 20 key members from the USAG Humphreys community attended the event. These members included organizations such as Sexual Harassment Assault Response Prevention, Equal Employment Opportunity, Criminal Investigation Division, legal, and military police.
"We are very excited about our symposium," said Valencia Hunt, USAG Humphreys Family Advocacy Program specialist. "We know there will be a lot of valuable information put out to the community members to help us better serve our families."
The guest speaker was Capt. Kim Beom II, a 30-year veteran police officer and human rights lecturer at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea. In the past, he has been recognized for his knowledge of handling domestic violence and sexual assault.
"This symposium served as a platform for many community leaders and members to learn more about domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault from the Korean law, Military Justice, and Family Advocacy Program," Hunt said. "Participants were also able to learn about Transitional Compensation and Problematic Sexual Behavior in children and youth. Everyone that attended the symposium left enlightened and educated, to better serve our Soldiers and family members."
A FAP specialist is a trained professional that provides education and training to the community on domestic violence and child abuse. In addition to education, the specialist works towards the prevention of abuse to ensure the safety of the community.
According to Hunt, the most important part of her job is making a difference in the lives of the Soldiers, their Family members and the community.
"What's important is being able to go out to educate the community about domestic violence and make sure they have information and resources," she said. "They need to make informed decisions and to see how the work that we do in FAP impacts the lives of Soldiers, civilians, families, and contractors that work and live in our community."
Melissa Werlau, a USAG Humphreys Domestic Abuse victim advocate, agreed with Hunt and noted that they are here to educate the community on domestic violence and support services.
A victim advocate is a trained professional who provides non-clinical advocacy services and support to Soldiers and their Family members, who are experiencing domestic abuse.
"We provide non-clinical counseling and can connect them [victims] with counseling, assist them to different appointments, such as to the hospital for a medical appointments, legal appointments, or if they have a trial -- we will go with them to court," Werlau said. "We are here to help and support them through that system and hopefully we can help empower them to become more independent in their lives.
"I think that we hear more about domestic violence now because more people are aware of the different reporting options," she said. "I think, awhile back, people were a little bit more hesitant and scared to say that they were in an abusive relationship, because they didn't want to hurt their career or their husbands' or their wives' careers.
"So, being able to provide education, I think, has been beneficial in reaching out to them so they know that there are support services for them," she said.
For more information about the ACS Family Advocacy Program, Domestic Violence or assistance, please call DSN 757-2363/2372 or 0503-357-2363/2372. For 24 hour assistance, please call the Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate hotline, at DSN 153 or 0503-357-8913.