October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, when members of the military community work together to increase awareness of an issue that can often be overlooked.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month traces its roots back to October 1981 as the “Day of Unity,” with the intent to end violence against women and children. Eventually, the “Day of Unity” was celebrated for an entire week, before the first DVAM was observed in October 1987.
“One of the goals of Domestic Violence Awareness Month for Ramstein is to recognize the prevalence of this issue,” said Capt. Deborah Schaefer, 86th Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy officer. “The Family Advocacy Program conducts annual education and prevention campaigns to promote community awareness, understanding and knowledge of intervention strategies. This month highlights the importance of awareness and gives our helping agencies an opportunity to promote our resources and availability.”
One of the most critical aspects to helping victims of domestic abuse is not falling into the bystander trap.
“As a military community we can help by being aware of the issue and those around us who may be suffering quietly,” said Schaefer. “We shouldn’t be afraid to speak to someone or ask them if they need help. Oftentimes we remain silent when we see the signs of domestic violence. By not intervening, you are enabling.”
The Ramstein Family Advocacy Office is planning several events to increase awareness of domestic abuse during the month of October.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or would just like to receive more information, call the Ramstein Family Advocacy Program at 479-2370 or 06371-46-2370.