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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Preventing domestic violence is critical to promoting safety within our Families and showing respect for our Soldiers, DA Civilians, and Family members. Army leaders and community members must remain committed to preventing domestic violence.
When domestic violence occurs, it cannot be kept private. Violence and abuse in Family relationships have negative effects that go far beyond those relationships, including stress on children, extended Family members, friends, and neighbors. Domestic Violence has no place in our Army.
To End Domestic Violence we must Recognize It, Report It, and Prevent It.
Recognize It. Recognize signs of distress as soon as they become apparent. Recognize the challenges that intimate relationships bring. Learn new skills in communication and negotiation. Effective discussion cannot take place when couples are angry, hurt or intolerant. Intense emotions cloud any opportunity to seek solutions. Anger and fear can sabotage attempts to repair the relationship.
Family Advocacy Program and other Army Family programs are readily available to help through relationship workshops, anger management classes, support groups, and counseling.
Report It. Report both perpetrators and victims of abuse. Report abuse to FAP when you learn of it. Offenders need to be held accountable. Family Advocacy victim advocates, sexual assault advocates, and many other professionals are here and in our community to decrease the likelihood that violence will recur.
Prevent It. Prevent domestic violence before it starts. Prevent at risk situations by knowing that safe relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. Keep that in mind in your own relationships as well as when you encounter others in a relationship. Let people know domestic violence whether physical, verbal or emotional has no place in our Army. Where violence occurs, trust and respect are missing or broken. Rebuild it. Make a firm decision to find healthy solutions. Dont go it alone. Enlist others help. Let FAP be your partner in prevention.
Make this Octobers Domestic Violence Awareness Month the beginning of a year-round campaign to end Domestic Violence. Promote the trust and respect that make all relationships strong.
Need help? Contact Fort Benning FAP at 706-545-7594. Be strong. Army Strong.
Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster Commanding general