October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

Domestic violence found in military, civilian homes; men, women victimized

“Do what I say!”

“I don’t know why I married you, you’re worthless!”

Those types of statements are frequently quoted by women who attempt to justify why they have become victims of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month, which is a national focus on the problem.

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical and sexual violence, threats and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically, according to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. For one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men, according to NCADV.

Megan Read, a prevention support specialist at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall’s Army Community Service, said the main goal of domestic violence awareness is making sure some people have access to resources that are available to them.

“Folks who are experiencing violence need to get treatment,” explained Read. “(There) should be equality in a relationship. Each party should feel like their boundaries are being respected. Respect keeps a healthy relationship … the ability to resolve conflict.”

Read pointed out that the ability to work through conflict resolution helps couples who are trying to work on relationship issues without one of the partners believing everything is one-sided. She said ACS offers classes year-round.

Male victims are one of Read’s concerns because men sometimes suffer in silence. But she said more men are coming forward and reporting incidents of domestic violence.

Although the victim receives services and has resources provided to him or her, Read said resources are also available to offender.

“Everyone in the Family needs support,” she said. “Part of focusing on domestic violence is focusing on healthy relationships.”

JBM-HH’s ACS has several events planned throughout the month. The month kicks off with “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” class, which is based off a book written by Dr. John Gottman. The class teaches the warning signs of troubled marriage and the steps to take to repair the relationship. The classes are Tuesday and Oct. 8. There will also be a Family fun day at Roer’s Zoofari Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Roer’s Zoofari is located at 1228 Hunter Mill Rd., Vienna, VA. 22182.

JBM-HH Family Advocacy Program will host emerging trends for domestic abuse professionals Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Community Center. Fairfax County Prevention education coordinator Ellen Armstrong will present emerging professional trends in the field of domestic abuse, which includes LGBTQ concerns, gun ownership and safety, male victim concerns and civil and criminal systems options.

The month ends with an anger management toolkit workshop that includes five sessions. The sessions begin Oct. 29 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The sessions will be held at ACS. The workshop focuses on learning new strategies to manage anger.

For more information on registering for classes and workshops during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, call ACS at (703) 696-3512.


Pentagram Editor Catrina Francis can be reached at catrina.s.francis2.civ@mail.mil.