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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Do you have the time?

  • Published
  • By the Family Advocacy Program
  • 19th Force Support Squadron
Everyone is busy these days running errands, paying bills, taking the children to softball, volleyball, football or soccer practice/games, and going to work. It's hard enough to find time to slow down and enjoy your family's accomplishments such as good grades, a job promotion or even planning an adventure. 

For some families, those happy times are few and far between. With everything going on, do you have the time to notice, to watch, and to recognize a child and/or a spouse who is being maltreated? One person's opinion doesn't count anyway, right? Let someone else be the hero. Wrong. It only takes one person who cares enough to recognize that something isn't quite right and ask for help. 

October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month and the staff of the Family Advocacy Program at Little Rock Air Force Base would like to take this time to help people become familiar with the signs and symptoms of maltreatment and the part everyone can play in keeping military families strong for themselves and in support of the Air Force Mission. 

Domestic violence is the mistreatment of one family member by another. The most common perpetrators of abuse are: a spouse, an ex-spouse, a boyfriend, an ex-boyfriend, a partner, an ex-partner or a parent. The most common victims of abuse are women and children. Abuse can take many forms including physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, cultural, spiritual and even financial. Domestic violence normally occurs over issues of power and control. The following are some risk factors and indicators that domestic violence may be present in your relationship: 

Physical abuse indicators include: being pushed, dragged, poked, threatened, being locked out of the house, having objects thrown at you or having your hair pulled. 

Sexual abuse includes rape, the use of physical or emotional aggressive acts to coerce a sex act, kissing, groping, rubbing and fondling, directly or through clothing whereby these are against the expressed wishes of the partner. 

Financial abuse consists of taking full control of your partner's checkbook, with all bills in one partner's name only, not being allowed to have money of your own, your partner selling your things, destroying the belongings for which you worked and that have emotional significance to you or not providing financial assistance for the family and children. 

Verbal abuse includes: yelling, name calling, cursing, constantly being told that you are stupid, being told that no one else would want you, constantly being harassed with phone calls or being belittled about things that are important to you. 

If someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call the Family Advocacy Program at 987-7377.

(Courtesy of the 19th Medical Group)