Team Ramstein took a stand against domestic violence by participating in the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence event Oct. 8 on Ramstein.
The event was held as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month and featured an all-male panel to not only speak about violence against women but also against men and the effects on children.
Capt. Armand Courtemanche, U.S. Air Forces in Europe protocol officer, Chief Master Sgt. Kaleth Wright, 3rd Air Force command chief, Senior Airman Charles Jackson, 86th Medical Operations Squadron mental health technician, and Cesar Alvarez, 86th MDOS Health Promotion coordinator, discussed the different aspects of domestic violence.
“One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused,” Courtemanche said.
Using data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Courtemanche explained that people often stay in abusive relationships because their partner has threatened to kill them, their children or their pets if they leave.
Wright explained economic abuse and how abusers often control their partners by not allowing them to work or manage any of the household finances.
For instance, Wright described a case in which a spouse had to contact a first sergeant because they were unable to purchase food while the military member was deployed. Situations such as this are considered neglect and should be addressed by military leaders and family advocacy.
According to Jackson and the NCADV, one in seven women and one in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point which they felt fearful that themselves or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
Finally, Alvarez enlightened the crowd on the effects domestic violence has on children, even if they do not directly witness the violence.
Alvarez said that children who live in households where abuse takes place are more likely to live with anxiety and fear. These children may also act more aggressively because they learn that violence is “normal.” Additionally, according to the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, these children may develop sleep problems, headaches, and are at risk for alcohol and drug abuse as they grow up.
Though the Department of Justice shows that more male offenders are reported than female, there are men who are victims of violence as well.
Resources for individuals and families are available, including Ramstein Family Advocacy, the Ramstein Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate, chaplains, Military and Family Life Consultants, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, and unit leadership.
Those who were unable to attend the event are invited to Resilience University from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday on Ramstein, Bldg. 2104. There will be more than 20 45-minute workshops on topics such as tactical dating, communication, stress management, picky eaters, toddler tantrums and more. The USO will sponsor a free lunch, therefore RSVPs are required in advance. For reservations, call 479-2370 or 06371-46-2370.