Domestic Violence Awareness Month observed at Hanscom

  • Published
  • By Lauren Russell
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Base officials are highlighting the month-long observance by educating community members on how to recognize the early warning signs of domestic violence and calling attention to the available resources dedicated to combating it.

Vicki Elliot, 66th Medical Squadron Family Advocacy intervention specialist, said her team is putting added emphasis on warning signs because some victims don’t even realize they’re being abused.

“Abusive behaviors, such as keeping tabs on a partner’s movements or emails, can be confused for normal parts of a marriage or relationship,” she said. “Our team is here to help those who feel they may be experiencing violence to understand what their options are.”

In helping community members know warning signs, Family Advocacy is working to make the community familiar with the “cycle of abuse.”

“The cycle of abuse is a pattern of behaviors that trap a victim in a tightening spiral of power and control,” said Capt. Kimberly Forsythe, 66 MDS Family Advocacy officer.

According to Forsythe, the cycle begins with a “honeymoon phase,” where partners feel hopeful and loved. From there, tension builds and can lead to an “incident” of verbal, physical, sexual, and or emotional abuse. Following that, the cycle continues into “denial,” with victims feeling ashamed or self-blaming for the incident before returning to the honeymoon phase with hopes the cycle will not occur again.   

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, one in three women and one in ten men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

“Abuse can be perpetrated by both males and females, and sometimes even by both partners in a relationship,” said Forsythe. “We offer anonymous consultations for those who have questions before filing a report.”

Forsythe noted that victims also have the option to file restricted reports.

The 66 MDS FAP is available to assist all active duty military members, as well as guard and reserve members on active orders, and their families with claims of domestic violence. FAP officials will share resources and answer questions at an information table located at the Main Exchange Oct. 12 and 26 during lunch time.

Civilian personnel who may be experiencing any type of violence should contact the Domestic Violence Services Network at 888-399-6111.

“We are always available for those who need help, and even if the services they need fall outside our umbrella, we will direct them to the right resources,” said Elliot.


Forsythe and Elliot will host “Purple Thursday” Oct. 20, a national movement to raise awareness of domestic violence by wearing purple.

For additional information on consultations, or resources available through the Hanscom Family Advocacy Program, call 781-225-6385.