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Domestic Violence Awareness Month
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Silent Witness displays stand at the entrance to the 66th Medical Squadron Clinic. The displays tell the stories of domestic violence victims. Other Silent Witnesses can be seen throughout the month of October at the Base Chapel, Fitness Center, Airman and Family Readiness Center and Family Advocacy Program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sarah Olaciregui)
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Domestic Abuse: Violence Between Partners

Posted 10/21/2010   Updated 10/21/2010 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Lisa M. Hoyt
Chief, Family Advocacy Program

10/21/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Is slapping a colleague acceptable when they show up late for work? Is it okay to berate, degrade or call a waitress a derogatory name when the service is poor? The answer is obvious: of course not. Then why should the behavior be seen differently when it happens at home?

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "Domestic violence (DV) is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner."

An intimate partner can include a spouse, ex-spouse, live-in partner or someone with which a person has a child in common with.

DV is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or education background, according to the coalition.

Violence is often accompanied by emotional or verbal abuse, such as name-calling, and controlling behavior such as social isolation from friends and family, withholding money or taking identification cards, thus creating a systematic pattern of dominance and control.

Other forms of violence include unsafe driving, destroying possessions, public insults or humiliation, lying, making one think they're crazy or stupid, hurting children or pets, blackmail, treating one like a servant, threatening murder or suicide, drugging or creating a sense of impending punishment. DV often results in physical injury, psychological trauma and sometimes death.

The best way to combat DV is through prevention. Hanscom's Family Advocacy Program (FAP) offers a variety of prevention and clinical services, as well as referrals to community support agencies. FAP prevention services are completely confidential. They include Family Advocacy Strength Training, marital and couples counseling, family counseling and skill building in parenting.

There are two types of reporting options available for adult victims eligible to receive military medical treatment: Restricted Reporting and Unrestricted Reporting.

Restricted Reporting
· Provides confidential reporting to FAP staff, medical personnel and victim advocate, as well as safety planning.
· Allows access to medical care, counseling and victim advocate services but does not initiate the investigative process to include notification to victim's or offender's commander or law enforcement.

Unrestricted Reporting
· Any report of DV made through normal reporting channels which includes the victim's and offender's chain of command, law enforcement and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations or other criminal investigative service.
· Also includes safety planning.

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month and several awareness initiatives will be seen around the base to inform personnel about domestic violence. They include Silent Witness and Empty Seat at the Table displays.

Family advocacy is doing its part to educate the Hanscom AFB community and spread awareness of domestic violence, not only in October, but throughout the year.

Any questions or concerns related to DV, to include reporting options and child abuse and neglect, may be directed to the Family Advocacy Program at 781-377-4791.

Did you know?
· One in every four women will experience DV in her lifetime.
· 85 percent of DV victims are women.
· Approximately 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
· Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
· In 70 to 80 percent of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
· Virtually all sociological data shows women initiate domestic violence as often as men, that women use weapons more than men, and that 38 percent of injured victims are men.
· An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
· 81 percent of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner; 31 percent are also sexually assaulted by that partner.
· Of people who report sexual violence, 64 percent of women and 16 percent of men were raped, physically assaulted or stalked by an intimate partner.

Do you know how DV affects children?
· Children who witness DV between one's parents or caretakers are the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
· Boys who witness DV are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
· 30 to 60 percent of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the home.
· One study of 2,245 children and teenagers found that recent exposure to violence in the home was a significant factor in predicting a child's violent behavior.

Additional resources:
· National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
· National Coalition Against Violence: www.ncadv.org

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