Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Army Community Service’s Family Advocacy Program is observing it with several displays and planned events.
Displays include purple ribbons around post and informational displays at the Post Exchange. Events include a proclamation signing, “Purple Power” day when purple is worn postwide, a virtual silent witness collage, and a “Light Up the Night” event. All event dates are yet to be determined while each goes through command approval because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’re trying to raise awareness and bring some awareness to the fact that domestic violence is an issue across the board. It reaches every socioeconomic, every group of people in the community, and the great secrecy that surrounds it is difficult,” said Tricia Green, domestic violence victim advocate. “If we can get rid of some of those secrets and some of the quietness about it, we can make some improvements and help some families.
“We hope people will participate and start thinking, ‘Do I have a friend, or do I have a co-worker or someone that might need my assistance, and how do I help them?’” she said. “How can we get them the help they need, whether it’s resources for marriage counseling or communication strategies for better communication?”
Victims of domestic violence can file restricted or unrestricted reports.
Restricted reporting does not initiate an investigation or involve law enforcement or the chain of command. A restricted report is a confidential disclosure of the incident to a victim advocate, the victim advocate’s supervisor and a health care provider. The victim receives medical treatment, a forensic examination, advocacy services and counseling services, and the Garrison commander is notified of non-identifying information.
“(Restricted reporting) gives (victims) some space and some time to try to work out their situation, so they can quietly try to distance themselves from the abuser,” Green said. “It gives them the ability get comfortable with moving on.”
Unrestricted reporting opens an investigation that includes the chain of command and law enforcement authorities. The victim also receives medical treatment, a forensic examination, advocacy services, clinical counseling, pastoral counseling and protective services.
In cases of child abuse, only unrestricted reporting is allowed, Green said.
To report an incident of domestic violence, call the Military Police at 684-2111, Green at (913) 683-2537 or Keyonna Taylor, FAP manager, at (913) 547-2512.