The month of October brings awareness to several issues in life. The biggest one being Breast Cancer and the organizations who help bring awareness to research do a great job of spreading the word. But, there is another issue we often don’t talk about and it is quite sensitive in nature. Often times it is right in your face and you don’t know the person is suffering. That issue is domestic violence.
Military spouses are among the strongest in our nation. They know how to take it all on and keep marching forward for the better of their families. However, they often suffer in silence. Maybe their spouse is the “top” sailor or soldier at the command and they don’t want anyone to have a bad opinion of them. Maybe they are so afraid of telling someone for fear their child(ren) will also fall victim.
They are silent fighters who also need support and love in a very different way. A way that is quiet, nonjudgemental and trusting. There are resources that have those qualities. Here they are:
–The National Domestic Violence Hotline: http://www.thehotline.org
–Military OneSource Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK(8255) Press 1
– Family Service Center Family Advocate Program: Each installation will have someone assigned to handle cases. Upon reporting the FAP will assign a victim advocate to assist with counseling and other needs. It is 100% confidential.
– Chaplains: These are among the most trusted individuals to help with counseling and resources to help families. They are also 100% confidential and do not have to report to commands.
– Family Doctor: Your doctor is someone to see about care of any bodily harm that needs medical attention. They do not have to notify command but can treat injuries and refer resources.
– Command Ombudsman, Key Spouses, Family Readiness Officers: Please note that while seeking out these trusted individuals is a great option they must notify the command. Once the command is notified the FAP will be automatically involved to assist with care.
While it can be hard to reach out and often times fear of the “what if” is there please know that help is always a call or click away. Do not let this issue stay silent. Please share the resources and talk about the help that is available.