Love is not Abuse

  • Published
  • By Lawanna R. Barron
  • 23d Medical Operations Squadron Family Advocacy

Across the nation and within the Department of Defense, October is designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This year's theme at Moody Air Force Base is "Love is not Abuse."

Domestic violence is against the core values of the United States Air Force. It violates an individual's privacy, dignity, security and humanity due to the systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control. Domestic violence affects the military mission, family and community.

We all know that domestic violence impacts mission readiness and has a long-term impact on families. Offenders of domestic violence use emotional, physical and sexual abuse to control their victims. More than 4 million people are abused by their partners each year, resulting in serious injury or death. Anger, alcohol, drugs or stresses are never an excuse for abuse.

The DOD mandates that all active duty military members and civilians who suspect domestic violence report these allegations to the Family Advocacy Program. Everyone has a right to live in a safe home, regardless of the situation or problem.

Domestic violence can occur regardless of rank, gender, race, ethnicity, age, education, employment status, marital status or childhood history. It occurs within intimate relationships to include current or former spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends. Domestic violence occurs in same sex relationships as well.

The DOD refers to domestic violence as partner abuse due to the various forms of relationships. Partner emotional abuse includes acts or threats that adversely affect the psychological well-being of a partner, including those intended to intimidate, coerce or terrorize the spouse. Such acts and threats include those likely to result in physical injury, property damage or loss, or economic injury.

Partner physical abuse includes acts such as grabbing, pushing, holding, slapping, choking, punching and kicking. It also includes sitting or standing upon, lifting and throwing, burning, immersing in hot liquids or pouring hot liquids upon, hitting with an object, and assaulting with a knife, firearm, or other weapon that caused or may cause bodily injuries.

Partner sexual abuse is the use of physical violence, intimidation or the explicit or implicit threat of future violence by a spouse to coerce the other spouse to engage in any sexual activity.

Partner neglect is the failure of a spouse to provide necessary care or assistance for his or her spouse who is incapable of self-care physically, emotionally or culturally.

The Moody community places a high emphasis on programs to prevent domestic violence. There are several prevention programs available through the Family Advocacy Program to include the New Parent Support Program, Fearless Marriage, Crossroads to Parenting and Divorce, Prevention Relationship and Enhancement Program, Prevention Anger Management, 1-2-3 Magic!, Love and Logic, Common Sense Parenting, and Active Parenting of Teens. Also, there are several resources available in the local community to help deal with domestic violence including the Haven, a shelter for batter women and children.

If you need information on prevention programs or want to report suspected abuse, please contact the Family Advocacy Program at 229-257-4805. Also, the domestic abuse victim advocate is available 24/7 by calling 229-444-6808. The Family Advocacy Program staff, located in the 23d Medical Group, is available to answer any questions you may have about family violence. Please remember, "Love is NOT Abuse."