MarForPac observes domestic violence awareness month[MIGRATE]

By Lance Cpl. Cristina Noelia Gil | October 17, 2008

Marines and families are encouraged to take a stand in observance of domestic violence awareness month during October.

The Department of Defense defines domestic abuse as an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or state law that involves the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force or violence against a person of the opposite sex, or a violation of a lawful order issued for the protection of a person of the opposite sex.

The offender is a current or former spouse, a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common, a current or former intimate partner with whom the abuser shares or has resided, according to Department of Defense directive 6400.06.

Domestic violence can lead to child abuse when children witness the offense and in cases when children try to protect the person being abused, said Susan Bush, Marine Corps Base Hawaii Marine and Family Services victim advocate.

The Department of Defense gives victims the option of either restricted or unrestricted reporting, in order to get the services they need.

Along with the support Marine and Family Services offers, there are many other resources available to help victims, said Bush.

“We want victims to know that they do not have to be alone, especially in Hawaii, where many people can’t get in a car and drive home to their loved ones,” said Bush. “They do not need to be ashamed or keep secrets.”

Victim advocates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support victims of domestic violence, she added.

Marine and Family services also offers counseling and prevention services to help stop the abuse before it begins.

For more information or services, contact Cheryl Roy, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific family readiness officer at (808)477-8765 or a MCBH Marine and Family Services victim advocate at (808)257-7784/8857.

Military personnel and dependents can also call Military OneSource at (800)342-9647 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800)799-7233.