The month of October is well known for being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign can be seen anywhere from football players wearing pink, to corporations changing their dress code to pink shirts and blue jeans, and the countless pink ribbons seen everywhere. But October is the month that we should recognize some lesser known causes too.
One that has hit close to home for my husband's family is that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month. My husband's cousin was killed by her husband in 2009. This opened our eyes to something we thought could never affect anyone we knew or loved. The truth of the matter is that domestic violence affects 1 out of 4 people. That means that you might actually know someone who is currently being abused.
While I do not personally know any military spouses affected by this silent killer, I would be naive to think that the 25% statistic does not transfer into the world of a service member's family. I have heard rumors of it happening to friends of friends where the spouse is being abused, but also of the service member being abused by their own dependent.
I would postulate that the statistics could be even higher in a military family because of the added stress placed on the service member and family with stressors like the recent government shutdown, deployments, uniform inspections, fitness tests, etc. According to the DoDLive.Mil website, the Department of Defense recognizes that domestic violence is a national problem and has launched a campaign this month especially to bring awareness to this silent killer, hoping that people affected by it will seek the help and protection they deserve.
If you or someone you know is being abused, physically or psychologically, it is important that you seek help. Contact your local law enforcement immediately. For those who are concerned about how it is handled as a military family, contact your local family advocacy group. They are able to assist you in filling out a "restricted report" which does not prompt a command investigation. The most important thing is that you seek help.
Be an overcomer, not a statistic.