Domestic Violence Awareness

A pledge is displayed during a Change the Culture program, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Oct. 4, 2018. “Change the Culture” supports Department of Defense’s sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, discrimination and hazing training programs by encouraging the elimination of destructive behaviors and promoting positive actions. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Matthew Kirk)

Every October the Marine Corps shines a spotlight on a serious and preventable public health issue--domestic violence. The observance serves to educate communities, couples and families about services available to help raise awareness of their responsibility and resources for addressing domestic abuse.

Domestic violence is any intentional physical or psychological harm caused by one or both partners in an intimate relationship. Physical and sexual assaults, or threats to commit them are the most apparent forms of domestic violence. Assaults may occur only once, but it only takes one time to instill the threat of future attacks according to Debra Burns, a prevention and education supervisor for Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS).

“The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) provides services and oversight to any cases that involve domestic violence,” Burns said. “We offer individual counseling, group or couples counseling and over 10 free classes. These classes are there to prevent incidents before they happen, but also to help if something does happen.”

Family violence can be directly related to life stressors. An important key to preventing these cases is knowing how to reduce and handle stress. Knowing the signs of a potentially abusive partner is also extremely important, Burns said.

“FAP is here to provide services to victims of abuse, but also to individuals who may be identified as alleged abusers,” said Cassandra Almond, the family advocacy branch manager for the behavioral health program at MCCS. “We are really here for everybody who’s in a relationship or family that might need help developing better relationship skills, coping skills and making better life choices to be more successful.”

MCCS is hosting its annual Strides Against Domestic Violence 5k, on Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. to raise awareness.

For additional information, contact the installation Family Advocacy Program, Chaplain, Community Counseling Program or Military Provost Office. Help is also available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233, Marine Corps DSTRESS Line 877-476-7734 (CONUS)/098-970-7734 (OCONUS) and Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.