October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Courtesy of Family Advocacy Program

During calendar year 2015, there were over seven thousand incidents that met criteria for domestic violence within the Air Force. In U.S. Air Forces in Europe, over seven hundred cases met criteria for domestic violence during that same time period. What this tells us is that we must continue to confront the issue of domestic violence within our military community. Domestic violence occurs in families of diverse educational, racial and/or socio economic status. In most instances women are the victims of domestic violence; however men are also victims in 37 percent of cases.

You may wonder what you can do to help prevent domestic violence. The answer is easier than you may think. Prevention starts with each of us making a conscious effort to speak out against inappropriate comments and behavior that enables abuse. Becoming an active bystander when abuse is occurring can be essential for offender accountability and support for victims. It is also important to create an atmosphere at work and at home of zero tolerance for abuse. Finally, domestic violence prevention can also take the form of developing positive relationships with others and teaching children to do the same.

The Ramstein Family Advocacy Program provides service members and their dependents with 24-hour support and consultation. During duty hours, you can call our office at 479-2370 or 06371-46-2370 to speak with our victim advocate or professional treatment manager. For after-hours support, you can reach a victim advocate directly by dialing 0173-628-4624. If you are the perpetrator of domestic violence, you can talk with a professional counselor at Family Advocacy or you can talk with a base chaplain. Oftentimes, the perpetrators of domestic violence are themselves the victims of domestic violence either directly or indirectly by having seen domestic violence in their homes as children.

Family Advocacy also offers couple’s communication counseling and relationship classes in an effort to help couples learn effective ways of communicating. In addition, parenting classes are offered in order to give parents tools to help employ healthy relationships with their children. Other outreach services include Dads’ 101 classes for first time fathers, Anger and Stress Management classes and family counseling.

Domestic violence is a crime. No one wants to fall victim to domestic violence, but it happens all too often within our military community. We all can do our part to help the victims and perpetrators of domestic violence by directing them to helping agencies, where they can receive immediate assistance and support, including Family Advocacy, the base chapel, Military Family Life Consultants and the Airmen Family Readiness Center.

Join Family Advocacy in proclaiming October 2016 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month “Silence Hides Violence! Speak Up: Be Part of the Solution.”