LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Team XL gathered to support domestic violence awareness on Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 2, 2017.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Laughlin Family Advocacy is reminding people of the support available to any who find themselves a victim of domestic violence.
Because the number of domestic violence cases on base are so few, the Laughlin Family Advocacy Center is able to proactively stop domestic violence before it escalates into a concern, according to Casey Molleson, 47th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy outreach manager.
Even though there are few cases of domestic violence, base members should remain alert and know who can be affected by domestic violence and how to help.
"Domestic violence does not discriminate,” Molleson said. “It affects every race, socioeconomic class, gender and age. The military and Laughlin are not immune to domestic violence.”
For some, domestic violence may be a far away and abstract topic – something that could never happen to them. For others, it is all too familiar.
“It started with emotional manipulation,” said Senior Airman June Bell, 47th MDOS family health office manager. “I started apologizing for things that weren’t even my fault. After emotional manipulation came verbal and more. It made me question everything good I thought about myself. I was isolated. He would apologize, I would forgive, and the cycle would start all over again. I found myself in the vicious cycle of abuse with no particular way out.”
The Department of Defense takes domestic violence and family violence seriously, and to respond to these incidents they have made it a priority to put programs such as the Family Advocacy Program in place to help those in need, Molleson stated.
The Family Advocacy Program offers prevention tools to help families before an incident, along with treatment after an incident. Another resource Family Advocacy offers is called Restricted Reporting. This is a report adult victims of domestic violence can file through Family Advocacy as long as there is no imminent danger, affect to the mission and zero child involvement. A restricted report gives the victim a chance to receive treatment without an investigation being opened.
Like Bell said, domestic violence can be a vicious cycle of abuse with no particular way out. The person abused may never speak up for themselves, and others may not intervene to personal barriers.
“Everyone plays a role in detecting and eliminating domestic violence,” said Molleson. “Learning about the warning signs and resources is a great place to start. You never know when one of these victims will be your sister, brother, cousin, troop or wingman.”
If you or someone you know is in imminent danger, call the security forces or 9-1-1. Domestic violence situations are one of the most dangerous circumstances. Let victims know there are resources available such as Family Advocacy, Mental Health, Chapel of the Wings Chaplain Corp, BCFS Health and Human Services—Del Rio, New Horizons Women and Children's Center Del Rio and the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).