Domestic violence affects thousands
11/4/2012 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Broken, bruised, scared, embarrassed. Domestic violence does not discriminate against culture, gender, rank or race said Valerie Seitz, 18th Medical Group family advocacy outreach manager. It affects approximately 1.3 million people every year.
The first observance for domestic violence was in 1987, the same year the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was introduced. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence said Congress designated October as the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1989.
To help further this awareness, the first campaign "Thanks for asking" throughout October with members from different squadrons across the base who volunteered their time to be a victim.
"It is estimated that one in four women and one in 10 men will be a victim of domestic violence," explained Seitz. "As a result, each October, Family Advocacy puts a special focus on the prevention of domestic violence in the Air Force to remind ourselves, and the base community, that it's a year-round mission."
On three different days in October, approximately 15 volunteers travelled the base, doing their normal day-to-day routines, with various injuries ranging from a busted lip, black eye or a bruise on the face.
The volunteers came into contact with an estimated 500 people of the base's nearly 25, 000 personnel including Japanese civilians. Only 100 of those 25,000 acknowledged the injuries they saw and asked 'what happened?'
By being a part of this campaign, the volunteers helped educate the base about the different options available for individuals affected by domestic violence.
In 2011 there were a total of 283 cases of domestic violence and child abuse on Kadena with it decreasing to 184 cases so far this year, said Seitz.
Airman 1st Class Andrew Rosenblat, 18th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, said he volunteered to be part of the campaign because he wanted to educate people that males can also be victims of domestic violence as well as females.
There are different agencies and groups that help individuals who have been affected by domestic violence or who just needs someone to talk to.
Chaplains, military family life consultants, mental health and Family Advocacy are a few of the places someone can go to receive help.
If anyone sees or suspects someone is being abused, they can contact any of the various agencies or call Capt. Joel Cartier at 634-0433.