Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Warren raises awareness of domestic violence

by Senior Airman Dan Gage
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

10/5/2012 - F. E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and members of the Mighty Ninety are working to shed light on the problem and offer assistance in reducing its occurrence.

With more than 3,000 reported cases of domestic violence in 2011, Wyoming holds one of the highest rates in the country, according to the Associated Press.

"That number only represents people seeking services," explained Glen Garcia, 90th Medical Operations Family Advocacy Outreach Manager. "Since most people do not seek services, the actual number of domestic violence victims could be significantly higher."

Victims of domestic violence are not just those in direct contact, Garcia said.

"Sadly, children are often the direct or indirect victims," Garcia explained. "Just witnessing violence impacts children's lives, especially as it usually takes place at home, a place where children should feel safe."

Being an indirect victim can lead to problems in the child's life as they grow older as well.

"If children have been exposed to domestic violence it increases the chances they will take on the role of either a 'batterer' or a 'victim' in their adult relationships," Garcia said. "Abuse can seem normal to children who witness it in their own homes."

According to Garcia, there are no clear determining factors of who may be involved with domestic violence.

"People from all economic and cultural backgrounds can be perpetrators or victims of domestic violence," Garcia added.

"Domestic violence is everyone's business," said Bonnie Scotto, 90th Missile Wing victim and witness coordinator. "It's way too common for people to say, 'I don't want to get involved, it's none of my business.' The truth is it affects all of us."

Domestic violence can have further reaching affects than those involved, Scotto added.

"Those in law enforcement who respond to a 911 call, medical personnel who treat the injuries, advocates who work with the victim, family, friends and co-workers all are changed in some way," she explained.

To help raise awareness of domestic violence, the Victim Witness Assistance Program, Family Advocacy and Sexual Assault Response Center are holding events through the month of October.

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