By Maj. Gen. James M. Milano, Fort Jackson commanding generalOctober 13, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- During the month of October, we are observing Domestic Violence Awareness month with a number of activities that promote the prevention of domestic abuse. Here on Fort Jackson, Army Community Services' Family Advocacy Program traditionally organizes awareness events, calling attention to domestic abuse. ACS has provided this service to our community for the past seven years, and this year is no exception.
Tuesday, our Family Advocacy Program continued its quest to stamp out domestic abuse by hosting the 8th Annual Prevention of Domestic Abuse Community Awareness Day. The event was held at the Joe E. Mann Ballroom. Activities included a seminar featuring guest speakers from the community who are directly involved with supporting domestic abuse victims and survivors. This event reiterated how essential it is to bring together Army families, Soldiers, helping professionals, victims and survivors to create a network of compassion, diversity and resiliency to defeat domestic violence.
Americans have been unifying formally against domestic abuse for three decades. Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the "Day of Unity" in October 1981, which had been conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent was to connect advocates from across the nation, attempting to end violence against women and their children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state and national levels.
These activities were as diverse as the program sponsors but, nonetheless, they had common themes: mourning those who have died due to domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and uniting those to end the violence.
In the fall of 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. That same year marked the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline. Two years later, Congress designated October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Statistics indicate the need for the military to build social intolerance toward domestic abuse. We need to be always working on strengthening our programs to promote awareness and to encourage reporting. There are plenty of resources available on myarmyonesource.com for Soldiers and families. The page contains awareness campaign information and resources for victim advocates, along with prevention and educational services.
Fort Jackson will continue to do its part to combat domestic violence in its ranks. We will not only continue to highlight the awareness campaigns, but we will do everything within our means to aid victims, intervene in suspected cases and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes.
Although the fight against domestic abuse is a difficult and grueling one, each individual contribution of awareness and education continues to boost the level of prevention in our society. With that being said, it is our duty to save lives from domestic abuse, one voice, one person, one event at a time. We will not tolerate domestic abuse undermining the cohesion of our community and families.
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