October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Since its creation in 1989, October has been a time to build awareness around domestic abuse and be a voice for the survivors of domestic abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, there are resources available.
Some common “red flags” of domestic abuse:
Name calling and put-downs. This behavior is likely to damage a person’s views of themselves and lower their-self-esteem.
Constantly calling, texting or following when you’re not together. At first glance, some might view this behavior as a sign that their partner worries about them, but this is much more than that. It’s a behavior that is controlling, and shows a lack of trust in their partner.
Using social media to control, intimidate, or humiliate your partner. This type of behavior is disrespectful, controlling, and not okay from anyone, especially your partner.
Hitting, punching, and/or strangling. It is never okay to put your hands on your partner with the intention of physically harming them.
What can you do to help?
Are you a commander? Make sure you understand your responsibility to report and respond to allegations of domestic abuse. Show compassion to the victims and fellow Marines. Raise awareness all-year-round, not just during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Are you concerned for someone else? Let them know you are available to help and support them. Encourage them to seek help, but respect their boundaries. It can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship.
Are you experiencing emotional or physical abuse? Family Advocacy Program Victim Advocates are available 24/7 for assistance. Counseling services are also available to you. If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (800-787-3224 en Español).
If you want to know more about how your installation is observing Domestic Violence Awareness Month or want to know more about the resources available to you, contact your local Family Advocacy Program.