Refuse to be a victim. That was the overriding message delivered at the Domestic Violence Rally hosted by the Fort Campbell Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program Oct. 2 at the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Family Resource Center.
The rally, one of two events being held during the month of October, is part of ACS Family Advocacy’s Domestic Violence Awareness month campaign.
In a room full of purple support ribbons, balloons and beautiful awareness décor stood a bright screen with messages that immediately took the focus away from the pretty surroundings and brought it toward the event’s main purpose, awareness.
“Statistics show that one of every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.”
“Many victims believe the violence will stop eventually. Without proper intervention, domestic abuse can increase in severity over time and in some cases can lead to death.”
These and other messages presented during the introduction brought attention to this quiet crisis.
“Domestic violence is a national epidemic,” said Keylah Colteryahn Kiel, victim advocate.
“We are here to raise awareness. We are also here to honor all the victims, all the survivors.”
Following the informative opening, the rally continued to its main event, the “Refuse to Be A Victim” workshop.
“This workshop is designed to help people develop their personal protection and safety strategies in full spectrum, whether domestic violence or just daily living. It is preventive,” said Aquil Bey, workshop facilitator.
“The workshop is big on prevention, but also tackles ‘if prevention fails, what do I do?’”
One of the workshop’s main focuses was helping people raise their level of awareness regarding their daily routines.
“The goal is to reach out and help those in need get their wheels turning, so people can think about ways they can protect themselves and develop their personal defensive strategies … think about things they hadn’t thought of before,” said Bey. “So they can find their vulnerabilities and correct them.”
The workshop also discussed mental preparedness as well as home, physical and automobile security. Those in attendance felt the information was both valuable and necessary.
“I think it’s great. I think this is something we all should be cognitive about,” said Dawn Wilson, Family Readiness support assistant. “I think we get complacent at home. When [spouses] are home, we think we are fine.”
Wilson plans to share her new found information with others.
“Part of my job is to provide the Families with information on the different agencies in the area and to keep them abreast of these types of awareness,” said Wilson. “I plan to arm them with information, so they can share with their Family members.”
The event concluded with a powerful video, “Telling Amy’s Story,” a documentary that chronicles the time leading up to the death of Amy Homan McGee, a mother of two who was shot and killed by her husband, Nov. 8, 2001. Afterwards, attendees were offered additional resources and information.
“I think it was a great event overall,” said Colteryahn Kiel. “Lives were impacted. A difference was made. Whether personally or as a means to take information back to others that may need it, I think we met the goals overall.”
The follow-up event, “Hoop it up Against Domestic Violence” is a co-ed basketball tournament that will be held Friday at Lozada Physical Fitness Facility at 3 p.m. Entry to this tournament is free.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, most cases are never reported to the police. To report domestic violence or to seek assistance, contact the 24/7 emergency hotline at (931) 980-5787.
• Statistics show 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse.
• Most of these cases remain unreported.
• To report domestic violence or seek help, call (931) 980-5787.