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Encouraging support during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Domestic Violence Awareness Month resources graphic. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

 

If you see a purple ribbon during the month of October, think peace, courage and survival. It is a show of support for survivors and those lost to domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone. It encompasses intimate partner violence, violence between adults or from a parent figure to a child. This can include physical and sexual violence, stalking and psychological aggression. 

“Spreading awareness about domestic violence and educating as many people as possible is important because it is a community-impacting problem,” said Edith Wegner, 377th Air Base Wing Violence and Suicide Prevention Program manager. “It takes collaborative effort to prevent it and put a stop to it when it does occur.” 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced and reported some form of a domestic violence related act. 

There are several resources available to anyone experiencing domestic violence or if it is suspected of someone close to you. 

“Talk to your friend about their options for seeking help or reporting domestic violence in the military,” said Lesley Pacheco, 377th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron family advocacy officer.  “Help them think through dangerous situations and create a plan to get through them safely.”

Pacheco said important resources to reach out to are the Family Advocacy Program, Immediate Crisis Support, National Domestic Violence Hotline and 24/7 Family Advocacy Victim Advocate Hotline. 

Knowing what resources are available for yourself and for others is important. 

“If you are being abused or know someone who has been abused or is abusing, reach out,” said Wegner. “There are so many people waiting to help. Domestic violence is not a battle you have to fight by yourself.”

For more information, contact the 377th Air Base Wing Violence and Suicide Prevention office at 505-846-0288.