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October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The campaign theme for this year's Domestic Abuse Awareness Month is "Breaking Free from Abuse."

Each October during Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, the Family Advocacy Program puts a special focus on the prevention of domestic violence in the Air Force: to remind ourselves and the base community that this is a year round mission.

Research continues to show that the majority of incidents are never reported to authorities. Communities are vital in detecting the silent victims of domestic abuse. When you see people in your community suffering from family problems, whether they are Airmen, dependents or civilians, regardless of gender or rank, reach out to them. Simply asking "Are you okay? Can I help you?" could be the key to saving a life.

Our military families are under incredible stress. They face all the same obstacles American families face in addition to long hours, frequent deployments and separation from their primary support systems. While it is vital to recognize that Air Force members work heroically at caring for each other around the globe, it is just as important for us as a community to work heroically at caring for each other in our family lives. Experienced researchers tell us that "healthy families keep service members alive on the battlefield" pre-occupied Airmen are more likely to make errors and become psychological casualties.

The Department of Defense needs strong, healthy military families. The Family Advocacy Program can help prevent family violence and can help if abuse does occur, but we can't do it alone. Help us stop abuse by taking advantage of the Family Advocacy programs and other family support programs. Everyone experiences problems sometimes, but healthy families try to anticipate them and develop the tools they will need to get through.

The Family Advocacy staff would like to invite all members of the Kadena Air Base community to join us in the fight against domestic abuse. During the month of October, wear a purple ribbon to show your support. Purple ribbons will be available at several locations on base including the Family Advocacy Office, the Health and Wellness Center, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator Office and various other locations during the month of October.

Sign up to participate in the first "Breaking Free from Abuse and Save the TaTas 5K" on Oct. 4 at 6:30 a.m., beginning at the Risner gym parking lot on Kadena. A Joint Services Hands Are For Healing; Pink Dress Purple Tie Gala is schedualed for Oct. 26. We also want to remind you that we are co-hosting the third annual "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" event with the HAWC in an effort to enhance awareness of those who have been impacted by domestic abuse.

Throughout the year the Kadena Family Advocacy Program offers a variety of prevention workshops and seminars. If you or someone you know is a victim of family violence, call the Family Advocacy Program at 634-0433.