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October is domestic violence awareness month

WHITEMAN AFB, MO -- We have few needs as basic as the need to feel safe in our adult relationships. Yet, millions of people live in fear of a spouse or intimate partner. If you're feeling unsafe, learn what domestic violence is, why it should stop and what you can do to stop it.

What is domestic violence?
Any abuse which occurs between adults who are married, have been married, have a child together or live together can be called domestic violence. Violence includes physical assault, pushing, hitting, slapping, verbal abuse, yelling, having objects thrown at or toward you or being threatened with a weapon or an object that can be used as weapon. Abuse also includes sexual abuse or neglect which includes depriving you of the basic needs to survive such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care.

What is appropriate?
Understanding that most people do not live in fear. Domestic violence is not a normal situation. Tolerance of violence, even if the offender acts only under the influence of drugs or alcohol, sends a message to the offender that violence is acceptable. It is not!

What are the risks?
Living with domestic violence can be emotionally draining, making it harder to act against it as time goes by. One seemingly isolated incident can easily escalate into a way of life. Under stressful conditions, in fact, you can begin to believe that you deserve such violence. No one deserves to live with domestic violence.

What about the children?
If you have children, living with domestic violence sends a message to them that domestic violence is normal. As they reach maturity, it might not occur to them that most households are relatively peaceful and they might accept domestic violence in their own adult households.

Take action.
You can stop violence in your home by setting limits and being firm about what you will not tolerate. How you handle the situation depends upon the circumstances, but understand that once you set limits you must act in a consistent manner. With the support of other relatives, friends and community support agencies, you can begin to turn the situation around and restore peace and tranquility in your life.

For more information, call the Family Advocacy Program at 660-687-4342. If it is an emergency, please dial 911.
Ms. Jeannine Johnson, Family Advocacy Outreach Manager, will also be at the Commissary this Saturday, 14 September, 2006 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. to provide information and answer questions.