Commentary: October’s domestic violence awareness events call for unity to end abuse

Graphic by wow.subtropica/

The Defense Department is calling on the military community to help prevent abuse and support victims as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is recognized annually in October. This national observance was created to raise awareness about how to report domestic abuse and encourages community members to speak up if they suspect abuse. This year’s campaign theme is “United Against Domestic Abuse.”

According to the Department’s Report on Child Abuse and Neglect and Domestic Abuse in the Military for Fiscal Year 2022, there were 15,479 reports of domestic abuse.

Abusive and unhealthy relationships are not limited to military members and their spouses. They can also include those who are dating, living together or have children in common. Resources — including safety plans, protection orders and emergency services that address medical, housing, legal and counseling needs — are available to help victims.

“In the military community, we’re a family. We look out for one another, on and off the job. If you have concerns about your relationship or someone you know, there are options for reporting domestic abuse,” said Sgt. Maj. Steve Minyard, senior enlisted advisor to Manpower & Reserve Affairs. “Whether it’s concern over an unhealthy relationship, a breakdown in effective communication, or if abuse of any kind is occurring — help and support are available, often far beyond what would be available to someone outside of the military family.”

The Defense Department provides resources to support individuals experiencing domestic abuse and keep them safe through the Family Advocacy Program. It also strives to help service members and their partners build and maintain healthy communication and relationship skills through counseling and education services offered by the Family Advocacy Program, as well as Military OneSource, which can be reached at 800-342-9647.

Community members who see signs of abuse or have concerns can reach out to their nearest Family Advocacy Program office to learn how it can provide support. Military members and members of their families do not have to be in a crisis to talk with a domestic abuse victim advocate.

The United Against Domestic Abuse page on Military OneSource provides community members with information regarding their options for reporting abuse. If community members are concerned about their safety (or the safety of someone they know) and need immediate support, they can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or live chat with an advocate at

About Military OneSource

Military OneSource is a DOD-funded program that is both a call center and a website, providing comprehensive information, resources and assistance on every aspect of military life. Service members and the families of active duty, National Guard and reserve (regardless of activation status), Coast Guard members when activated for the Navy, DOD expeditionary civilians and survivors are eligible for free Military OneSource services, which are available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About Military Community and Family Policy

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing and overseeing quality of life policies and programs that help our service members, their families and survivors be well and mission ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These DOD services can be accessed 24/7/365 around the world.