By Erin Murray, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 29, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 29, 2011) -- During October, the Fort Rucker Family Advocacy Program will host multiple events in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, starting with a proclamation signing Monday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to noon in the lobby of Bldg. 5700.
This year's theme is "together we can end domestic violence," said Luticia Trimble-Smith, FAP manager. The theme will be highlighted as senior leaders, Family members and community members sign a proclamation issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general.
The goal of the proclamation is to encourage the community to be aware of and prevent domestic violence in every way possible, explained Trimble-Smith.
"Partnering with the community is important. We can't do this alone. One of the problems with preventing domestic violence is when bystanders know what's going on and don't do anything. We want to encourage them to make a commitment to let someone know," she said.
After the proclamation signing, community members are encouraged to participate in events aimed at preventing and ending domestic violence.
FAP and the Fort Rucker Chaplaincy will host Marriage 101 Wednesday from 1-4:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center. This event will focus on preventing marital problems that can contribute to domestic violence, said Trimble-Smith.
"It's about strengthening relationships. Couples may already have things that they do that are working, but there may be some areas where they need a little more help," she said.
Oct. 13, the entire Fort Rucker community is encouraged to wear purple to raise awareness and support victims of domestic violence.
"The purple ribbon is the national symbol for domestic violence awareness. We're asking everyone in the community to show their support by wearing purple," said Trimble-Smith.
A divorce, separation and co-parenting workshop takes place Oct. 24 and 31 and is also aimed at preventing violence by resolving issues, she said.
"Separation is one of the most lethal times for victims in a domestic violence situation. At the workshop, people will learn skills to help reduce emotional abuse," she said
Other events during October will help strengthen Families in order to prevent violence. These include Aloha Paradise Fun Night, which will be held Friday at Lake Tholocco; the "In Her Shoes: Living with Domestic Violence" presentation, Oct. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wings Chapel; and Family game night Oct. 21, 5-7 p.m. at the Commons. Game night is open to the first 25 Families who register by Oct. 14 and is open to active duty, retired, federal employees and Family members.
As domestic violence awareness month begins, Trimble-Smith hopes the community will help by knowing the options available to victims, abusers and witnesses of abuse.
"One of the reasons why the Army now has two reporting options is because it gives an opportunity to those who may be afraid that reporting may impact the career of the servicemember involved. If nothing else, let the victim know that there are resources available. We have victim advocates on call. They can take a restricted report or non-restricted report," she said.
Victim advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 379-7946 or 379-7947.
For more information on domestic violence awareness month and to register for events, call 255-9641.