By Emily Brainard, Army Flier StaffOctober 8, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- October is Domestic Abuse Prevention Month, and sometimes violent situations escalate to a point where medical professionals or counselors are required to help.
One local resource is Lyster Army Health Clinic's Department of Behavioral Medicine, which helps domestic abuse victims, offenders and any involved Family members.
Staff works with the Department of Human Resources, victim advocates, military police and schools when violence is reported, said Leslie George, Behavioral Medicine social worker. She and her peers provide one-on-one and group counseling.
She helps clients develop safety plans, whether that means separation of Family members, or working through fears and issues and slowly reintegrating those involved. Patients are taught how to reduce anger, take timeouts and manage conflict to prevent further violence.
Educating oneself on domestic violence is important because of the abuse's wide impact on the community, George said. Domestic issues can come in the form of physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and economic abuse.
"It can happen to anybody and most everybody knows someone who's been a victim or an offender," George said. "The most important thing is to get help. Awareness lets victims know they're not alone and they can get help."
When individuals simply need someone to talk to, and physical or sexual violence is not the problem, there are other options outside Lyster.
The Military and Family Life Consultant Program here is a free, short-term counseling service for servicemembers and Families.
"The goal of the MFLC program is to prevent Soldier and Family distress by providing education and information on Family dynamics, parent education, available support services, the effects of stress and positive coping mechanisms," said Sue Jackson, Army Community Service director. "The MFLC program provides Soldiers, their Families and Department of Defense civilians the opportunity to seek confidential and private counseling services in the areas of anger management, communication, relationship issues, relationship building, conflict resolution, parenting and decision making skills."
Counselors are licensed, hold master's degrees and have at least five years of experience in social work, counseling or related clinical disciplines, she said.
MFLC staff can be reached at 405-0353.
For more information on Behavioral Medicine or to schedule appointments, call 255-7028 or 255-7029.
(Editor's note: This is the second article in a two-part series on Domestic Abuse Prevention Month and resources available on post to mitigate abuse.)