Army raises focus on domestic violence issues

| October 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, senior commander of U.S. Army Hawaii, signs the proclamation, declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, senior commander of U.S. Army Hawaii, signs the proclamation, declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

 

Story and photos by
Don Robbins
Contributing Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Army leaders, Soldiers and community members gathered to honor victims of domestic violence and urge each other to prevent it during the annual Domestic Violence proclamation signing at the Nehelani, here, Oct. 2, hosted by the Family Advocacy Program, or FAP.

Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, senior commander of U.S. Army Hawaii, signed the proclamation, declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).

Staff Sgt. Brandon Chaney, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, studies a display about domestic violence.

Staff Sgt. Brandon Chaney, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, studies a display about domestic violence.

Flynn emphasized this year’s Army theme: “It starts with respect: Live by core values to keep your relationship healthy and strong.”

The proclamation states, “Core values are more than talk. Core values are lived and reflected in our everyday practices and interactions. Just as each branch of the military has a set of core values, so should every relationship.

“Respect and trust are the foundation of healthy, intimate relationships, but successful, lasting relationships also require integrity, commitment, honesty, selflessness and courage,” the proclamation continues.

“Every couple experiences relationship challenges. No matter how tough times get, commit to living by core values and working through problems in a healthy way,” it says.

An Empty Place at the Table display memorializes people killed by domestic violence.

An Empty Place at the Table display memorializes people killed by domestic violence.

“Children learn about relationships by watching the people they know best. Set the stage for your child’s future relationships by modeling safe, respectful communication and conflict resolution with your spouse or partner,” the proclamation declares.

The proclamation noted that, in recent years, there has been an upward trend in substantiated cases of domestic violence in the Army.

Flynn urged the Army community to let the USARHAW FAP be its partner in preventing and reducing the risk of domestic abuse and to restore valued relationships that are deteriorating.

FAP advocacy
The event started with a Hawaiian Oli, or chant from retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Makalena Shibata.

The ceremony also included a poem written by Jan P., a survivor of domestic violence, read by Lisa Allen.

The poem described a woman who escaped the punches and manipulation of her tormentor. It ends on this note: “There are obstacles in the distance. Overcoming them with courage. You’ll do it with persistence. Then you’ll come through it wise and strong. Though it seems that it’s a long way. Just look at me, I once was you, who survived to live today.”

Participants entered the event by walking through a Silent Witness display, lined with purple ribbons and cardboard silhouettes remembering victims of domestic violence.

One of the silhouettes depicted a 46-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter who were shot and killed by her boyfriend, before he turned the gun on himself.

“Preventing domestic violence depends on people counting on each other,” said Staff Sgt. Brandon Chaney, a reconnaissance team leader for Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 2nd Battation, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, as he studied the display.

Chaney said it is important to recognize when people are in trouble and can potentially become victims of domestic violence or become abusers. He said the visual display was eye-catching.

“It makes you think,” he added.

A series of dining tables with an empty place setting were arranged along one side of the conference room. Victims honored by the memorial displays ranged from small children to adults.

The Empty Place at the Table display was created to mourn the loss and memorialize the lives of people killed by incidents of domestic violence.

Another display included a clothesline with T-shirts featuring domestic violence awareness messages, made by Schofield Barracks teens during a healthy relationships workshop. The Clothesline Project is a program started in Massachusetts in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women.

David Ascher, lead educator and senior prevention specialist with the Family Advocacy Program (left), speaks with a guest at the Domestic Violence Awareness Month event.

David Ascher, lead educator and senior prevention specialist with the Family Advocacy Program (left), speaks with a guest at the Domestic Violence Awareness Month event.

Upcoming Events

The Family Advocacy Program will host a variety of awareness events throughout the month:

  • Oct. 16, 6:30 a.m., Domestic Violence 5k Run/Walk, sponsored by 25th Infantry Divison Artillery (DIVARTY), at Hamilton Field, Schofield Barracks. The event is stroller-friendly.
  • Oct. 22, 6 p.m., “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage” seminar, at the Schofield Barracks Chapel Annex. Free on-site child care and dinner will be provided. Contact ACS to register.

For more information on these events, call 655-4ACS (4227).

Outreach Tables

View Family Advocacy Program tables at these locations:

  • Oct. 9, today, 4-6:30 p.m., at the Aliamanu Military Reservation’s National Night Out at the Community Center.
  • Oct. 13, 7-9 a.m., at the Schofield Barracks Fitness Center.
  • Oct. 20, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Fort Shafter PX Market.
  • Oct. 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Schofield Commissary.
  • Oct. 28, 2:30-4:30 p.m., at Fort Shafter Library.

If you or someone you know needs help, FAP Behavioral Health and FAP Victim Advocacy are standing by to provide support. The U.S. Army Hawaii Domestic Violence Hotline is staffed by victim advocates, 24/7, who can be reached at 624-SAFE (7233).

Family Advocacy Program
The Family Advocacy Program’s Prevention, Education, Outreach (FAP-ED) also offers a variety of parenting classes. New parents can contact the ACS New Parent Support Domestic-Violence_0022Program at 655-4227 (Schofield) or 438-4227 (Shafter) for help and tips in dealing with their baby.

In addition, parents can contact the Child Help Hotline (1-800-4-CHILD or 2445), a toll-free number, to talk to a professionally trained counselor and get help.

FAP is part of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Army Community Service.

Domestic Violence Statistics
Here are some facts about domestic violence announced at this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation-signing event.

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • About 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of domestic violence also abuse children in the household.
  • One-third of all women killed in the U.S. are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands, boyfriends, or ex-boyfriends.
  • One in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,614. The number of women, in the same period, killed as the result of domestic violence in the U.S.: 11,766.
  • Domestic violence is statistically consistent across racial and ethnic boundaries.
  • In U.S. Army Hawaii, alone, there were 279 incidents of spouse abuse that met criteria in fiscal year 2014.
  • On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
  • Every nine seconds a woman is battered or abused.

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Category: Community, Leadership, Observances

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