News: Domestic abuse awareness and prevention
Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez
NAVAL HOSPITAL BEAUFORT, S.C. - According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a women is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds in the United States. Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
To raise awareness of this terrible problem, Naval Hospital Beaufort demonstrated its support for the treatment and prevention of domestic violence with a ceremony held at Naval Hospital Beaufort, Oct. 1.
“We’re putting up the purple ribbons to honor the women who have died and celebrate the women that have survived,” said Navy Capt. Joan Queen, the commanding officer for Naval Hospital Beaufort. “The ribbons represent the women who have died, the women who have survived and our policy of zero-tolerance for domestic violence.”
The purple ribbons are just an impression of what the Naval Hospital is doing to prevent and raise awareness of domestic violence.
“In the event that you get in that situation, we are here to help you,” said Queen. “We have providers that recognize the signs of domestic violence based on the bruises or bumps that one may have, and we will take action.”
A stigma of domestic violence is that the male in the relationship is always the abuser, or there has to be physical contact for something to be done.
Military members can prevent domestic violence by recognizing the early signs. A verbal argument might lead to something bigger if one does not act to regain the mutual respect of the other.
“Come forward, let somebody know and we will help you,” said Queen. “I can’t help you if I don’t know about it.”
Many actions can be taken by service members and their families to protect against domestic violence. These include foreign spouse abuse, military protective orders, bar to base for service members being abused, and transitional compensation for abused family members which provides an offender’s family with pay, medical benefits and access to base exchanges and commissaries for up to three years.
“It all comes down to the person, the person has [to take action to get help],” said Queen. “I can educate them on what services are available and what they can do but I can’t make them take any action.”
Do not wait to get help. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or for more information contact Victim Advocates at 228-4784/4110 or visit www.mccssc. com and click on the 24/7 Crisis Hotline link on the right.