By Erin Murray, Army Flier Staff WriterOctober 20, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 20, 2011) -- Over 30 participants experienced domestic violence scenarios when Fort Rucker's Family Advocacy Program and Social Work Service presented the "In Her Shoes" domestic violence simulation to Soldiers and civilian staff Oct. 13 at Wings Chapel.
The simulation was presented as a training module for staff and also as a way to increase awareness of Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, said Luticia Trimble-Smith, FAP manager.
"It's an educational simulation describing the many ups and downs women face when in an abusive relationship. It helps present the different resources available to victims," she said.
Leslie George, a social worker from Lyster Army Health Clinic, said that "In Her Shoes" was presented to "increase awareness of domestic violence, advocacy and understanding for victims and improve the mechanism for staying safe."
Participants were given cards that described the characters they would role play over the course of the event, including their background information. Characters in the simulation were given domestic violence scenarios and asked to choose their course of action. According to the choices made by the groups, the simulation's results varied from victims receiving help to ending up injured or deceased due to domestic violence or emotional abuse.
"It was very interesting. This is a great program because it makes you think. I would encourage a victim to seek help and I'd open up my home to them," said Sgt. Julie Hicks, a participant in the event.
Spc. Annel Anderson did not know what to expect from the afternoon of training, but she left with a new perspective.
"I didn't know what to expect. I thought it would be something boring, like a slide show or a presentation. It was actually really fun," she said.
Anderson's group walked in the shoes of a Vietnamese immigrant in an abusive marriage with an American, a situation that Anderson said made her think differently about domestic abuse.
"I think it's realistic. People might think they know the right thing to do. Sometimes, you see people going through something that seems easy to understand, but it's not always so simple," she said.
George said that much of the training was focused on teaching participants the dos and don'ts of handling domestic violence by having participants learn the many sides of a situation, both from the perspective of the abuser and the victim.
Some of the suggested dos and don'ts provided by the event's leaders included refraining from blaming victims of domestic abuse or attempting to "prescribe" a solution such as divorce. The event encouraged participants to encourage the use of resources such as FAP, Social Work Services and Victim Advocacy program when they encounter domestic violence.
"Most people will eventually come in contact with a situation of domestic abuse at some point. There are certain actions that are helpful and others that are not helpful. This event helps show the difference," said George.
To find out more about domestic violence prevention, call 255-7029. Those seeking victim advocates can call 379-7946 or 255-7947 for assistance.