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Be aware: Education key to combating domestic violence

Friends Thia, Emma and Mari Ramirez, and Tyson Armstrong, Army Family members, play a game of Life during the Family Advocacy Program’s Family Game Night at the Corvias Military Living Ballroom earlier this year. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Friends Thia, Emma and Mari Ramirez, and Tyson Armstrong, Army Family members, play a game of Life during the Family Advocacy Program’s Family Game Night at the Corvias Military Living Ballroom earlier this year. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: September 25, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 25, 2014) -- Domestic violence comes in many forms and affects men, women and children, and Fort Rucker is doing what it can to increase awareness on the issue.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and throughout the month people are encouraged to wear purple on every Friday in recognition of awareness, and Army Community Service will be hosting events throughout the month in support of the cause, said Nicqolle Truitt, victim advocate for Army Community Service.

“What we’re trying to do is bring awareness to domestic violence because people tend to think that domestic violence is all about physical abuse, but it’s not only physical abuse, but (also) emotional abuse, sexual abuse and even financial abuse,” she said. “If an individual is hindered from making new relationships, or not being able to make friends with certain people, or not being able to communicate with their Family, that could be something linked with domestic violence.”

In order to combat domestic violence, Truitt said the most important thing is to bring light to the issue, and educate the public on what domestic violence is, who it affects and how it can be prevented.

One way the installation is doing this is by partnering with Fix the Hurt, which is an organization that increases awareness about domestic violence through interactive theater performances, and will be educating Fort Rucker on the issue through their production of “Domestic Violence the Musical?”

The production transcends gender, race, religion and ethnicity when it comes to domestic violence to highlight the fact that domestic violence can happen to anyone, said Truitt.

“The musical was created by a Family who lost their daughter to domestic violence and is a compilation of different musical genres. (It) will bring domestic violence to the forefront and approach the issue in a different way,” said the victim advocate. “This is a new way for them to see how this can affect people and it will be wonderful for the community.”

The show will be at the post theater and will run two days, Oct. 7 at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., and Oct 8 at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

In addition to the show, ACS teamed with Lyster Army Health Clinic to host the ScreamFree Marriage Lunch and Learn Oct. 6, 20 and 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., during which people can learn about being in safe, respectful and positive relationships with not only the couple, but with their children, as well.

People can bring their own lunch or have lunch provided, and free on-site childcare is available as long as children are registered with child, youth and school services. Seating is limited, so people should sign up by Sept. 29. To register, call 255-0040 or 255-9636.

Oct. 24, the Family Advocacy Program will host its Family Game Night at the Corvias Military Living ballroom from 5-7 p.m.

Throughout the evening, Families can take part in games for all ages, and pizza and beverages will be provided. Each Family that participates will receive a new board came that they can take home to play, said Truitt. Registration is recommended by Oct. 22, and people can do so by calling 255-3898 or 255-9636.

Truitt said it’s important to bring domestic violence awareness to the forefront because it’s an issue that affects many Families and is something that can happen to anyone.

“Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, male or female. Women are not the only ones who are affected by this,” she said.

For those who might be experience domestic violence, Truitt recommends they call the 24-hour help line at 379-7947, even if they just want to ask questions about the issue.

People should also call the number to report incidents of domestic violence, and when calling to report an issue, there are two options for reporting – restricted and unrestricted.

With a restricted report, there will be no investigations, but counseling and victim advocacy services, such as case management and safety planning will be available.

If a report is filed as unrestricted, there will be a full investigation and the command will get involved, as well as the counseling and victim advocacy services being available.

“If someone is in a situation (where) they feel they are unsafe, we would recommend that they first contact the police,” said Truitt. “We promote safety here, so our No. 1 priority is the victim’s safety.

“Also, we are a prevention program, so people should come to us and get any information they can,” she continued. “We have a wonderful resource library, so before a relationship becomes potentially violent, we have a lot of resources in place to help prevent that and we want people to use that.”

For more information, call 255-9636.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/134533/

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