By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 27, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 27, 2012) -- The Fort Rucker Family Advocacy Program seeks to bring awareness of domestic violence prevention efforts to the post community with events and activities for couples and Families.
FAP wants to remind people that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, and Luticia Trimble-Smith, Family advocacy program manager, said that people being aware of the signs and knowing how to provide help can reduce the number of victims.
"It is important for everyone to be familiar with the signs of domestic abuse and know the resources that are available to assist victims in obtaining supportive services while keeping them safe," she said, adding that domestic violence includes assault, battery, threat to injure or kill, acts of force or violence, or emotional maltreatment inflicted on a spouse or intimate partner.
To bring awareness to domestic violence as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month several events will be held on post that are aimed at enhancing communication and Family bonds.
"The Domestic Violence Prevention Month kickoff is Oct. 5 in the lobby of the Soldier Service Center from 9-9:30 a.m. It will emphasize this year's theme: Don't Turn Your Back on Domestic Violence. We will also have Family Game Night that evening from 5-7 p.m. at The Commons, which is open to the first 25 Families that register. FAP has also partnered with The Landing Zone to provide tote bags filled with fun and exciting information for couples participating in Steak Night every Friday in October at 5 p.m.," she said, adding that Sgt. Ted E. Bear will also be painted in recognition of the month.
Another event that will be hosted is The Five Languages of Apology Couples Workshop Oct. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Commons.
"The workshop will explore expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution and requesting forgiveness. Lunch will be provided to all those who participate," said Trimble-Smith.
The events, according to the FAP manager, will provide opportunities for Families to learn new ways to have fun with each other while strengthening their relationships.
Purple Day will be every Friday in October. Members of the community are encouraged to wear purple as a visible commitment of supporting the prevention and awareness campaign.
Domestic violence affects not only the victim, according to Twanna Johnson, Family Advocacy Program specialist, but also Family members and acquaintances.
"If more people would show concern, this would help to remove the stigma that keeps victims from seeking help. The military prides itself on demonstrating a culture of safety and responsibility for its Soldiers and Family members. Domestic violence harbors fear, breaks down military morale and destroys Families," she said.
Trimble-Smith said that it is important for everyone to be aware of the dangers of domestic violence, and to be careful when giving out advice to others.
"People may know someone who is in an abusive relationship and may not know how they can help. Sometimes friends or Family may encourage a person to stay in an abusive relationship believing that if they just try harder to be a good spouse, the abuse will stop. This type of response may place a victim at risk for continued abuse," she said.
But if a Soldier or Family member suspects they know someone who is in an abusive relationship, Trimble-Smith still encourages them to help that person.
"All military and civilian personnel are encouraged to report domestic violence when it is suspected. Commanders, senior leaders, units, Family readiness groups and other organizations on the installation are encouraged to contact the Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program at 255-3246 to schedule briefs and training on domestic violence prevention and available resources," she said.
There are two reporting options available to victims of domestic abuse.
"A victim may elect to make an unrestricted or restricted report. The unrestricted report allows a victim of domestic abuse to receive medical and treatment support services and an official investigation by law enforcement. The restricted report is intended to give domestic abuse victims additional time to receive support services without triggering an official investigation," said Trimble-Smith, adding that restricted reports may be made by contacting a healthcare provider, chaplain or the Family Advocacy Program victim advocate through a hotline (379-7947) that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.