By Rebecca Carroll
In remembrance of the victims who lost their lives to domestic violence and to show our continued support of survivors and educating the community on domestic violence, White Sands Missile Range Army Community Service is participating in the National Domestic Violence Awareness campaign during the month of October.
To raise awareness of domestic violence ACS, in conjunction with Balfour Beatty, will be participating in the Purple Light Nights ® campaign. The goal of the campaign is to send the message that “Domestic Violence Has No Place in Our Community”. ACS and Balfour Beatty will be displaying purple lights on the porches of houses on post in order to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence.
Closing out the month will be the “Walk a mile in their shoes” campaign. At 9 a.m. on Oct. 31 the WSMR community will meet up at the track and march against domestic violence. Ladies are encouraged to wear their husbands boot and men are encouraged to wear their wives’ shoes and walk a mile. Despite being a small community this is our chance to make a difference and bring a serious issue to light.
Maintaining the health of our military begins with our Soldier’s most vital asset, the Family. Multiple deployments and the extreme pressure and stress that go hand in hand with life in the military can lead to wounds both visible and invisible. These injuries not only have an effect on our Soldiers but their Families often suffer under the strain and challenges of military life. Hardships and stress are often catalysts for violence within Families. Identifying and addressing underlying causes for violence in the Family aid in preventing violence in the home. Raising awareness of the programs and services offered on White Sands can help Families deal with the stresses and demands of life through support and education.
Domestic violence often goes unnoticed and can be confined to the home. When it is seen or suspected many people feel that it is not their business to become involved or intervene. Changing these attitudes and beliefs is one of the goals for Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic violence not only has destructive consequences on unit readiness, it also has devastating effects on Families and children.
Classes like the Master Resiliency Training (MRT), teach Soldiers and Spouses competencies like self-awareness, self-regulation, optimism, mental agility, strengths of character, and connection all contribute to resilience on the job and at home. ACS offers Army Family Team Building (AFTB), which is a series of classes offered to Solders and Family members that teach participants about the Army, personal growth and leadership skills, and teaches the ability to not only cope with the military lifestyle, but enjoy it as well. Financial Readiness Programs also help Soldiers get a handle on their finances and prepare for a healthy financial future. The Exceptional Family Member Program works with military Families with special needs to address their unique community support needs. Another program offered through ACS that helps reduce the stress of military life is the New Parent Support Program that gives new parents skills that help enhance parent and infant attachment, knowledge of child development, and connection to support services that help parents become nurturing and capable caregivers.