Kaiserslautern kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Rick Scavetta
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

When Sgt. John Eads recently stopped into the post library, he was not surprised to see information on U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern’s observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Sergeant Eads, who just arrived from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C., knows the importance of reinforcing messages to Soldiers on ways to handle turmoil at home. He took a few moments to listen and pocketed a couple pamphlets.

“Several Soldiers faced these problems after returning from our deployment,” said Sergeant Eads, 32, a married father of two from Fort Walton Beach, Fla., who now works at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. “Why not take some time to listen?”

Soldiers commonly undergo mandatory post-deployment briefings on reintegrating into family life. But repeating the message is important, Sergeant Eads said.

After his unit returned from Iraq, a fellow Soldier showed signs of trouble, Sergeant Eads recalled. A family advocacy flyer, hanging at his company headquarters, offered options.

“In this case, we knew that he and his wife were fighting, that they had a rocky marriage after Iraq,” he said. “We got him some help with counseling through family advocacy. The command allowed him the time off, so there was no excuse for him not to go.”

Each October, the Army observes national Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In Kaiserslautern, the Army Community Service’s Family Advocacy Program kicked off the month with and event for children in Landstuhl. Information booths will also be set up in public places each week.

“It’s a huge problem in our community and others,” said Erica Laue, victim advocate with Army Community Service in Kaiserslautern. “When you make an entire community aware, the entire community can act to keep itself safe.”

On Oct. 21, at the Galaxy Theater on Vogelweh, there will be a free screening of the film “Precious,” which is about a Harlem teen overcoming domestic abuse. The film counts for Soldiers’ domestic abuse awareness briefing, an annual training requirement. Units are encouraged to attend as groups, Ms. Laue said.

“This may not apply to you, but it may apply to someone you know,” Ms. Laue said. “With this information, you can make your friends and your family safe. You can make a difference.”

For more information, call 0631-3406-4615 or visit family advocacy at www.mwrgermany.com/KL/acs.