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Domestic abuse program has new emergency line

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The Family Advocacy Program at Peterson Air Force Base has a new crisis line to support victims of domestic violence. This new phone line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for military members and their family members in need of emergency support.

This new crisis line is in conjunction with the Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate program at family advocacy and can be reached at 244-9903.

The DAVA provides comprehensive services and referrals which include safety planning and risk assessment, prevention education and more. Victims who are military medical beneficiaries are offered extensive, ongoing DAVA support services. The DAVA's main priority is to support the victim as they make safe and informed decisions for themselves and their children. All services are non-clinical, voluntary and free. Confidentiality is guaranteed by state, federal, and military regulations.

In 2005, the Defense Department completed an assessment of domestic abuse victim advocate services. Findings from the assessment included that support from an advocate helped victims know more about their rights and options. Victims were more aware of community resources and services, developed a safety plan to use to prevent further incidents of violence, became more comfortable asking for help in the future, became more hopeful about their future and felt less alone through the process of seeking help.

Domestic violence is often thought of as being physical abuse; however, that is not the major component of domestic violence. Domestic violence is comprised of a pattern of coercive behaviors designed to dominate or control an intimate partner, regardless of gender. Domestic violence occurs when one person exercises inappropriate power and control over his or her intimate partner. It may include threats, intimidation, isolation, verbal battering like name calling, constant criticism or humiliation, stalking, forced sexual acts, economic control as well as physical battering that could include shoving, punching, kicking, hitting, slapping or choking. Those behaviors are injurious and prevent victims from exercising their legal freedoms. All active duty and DOD civilians are mandated to report incidents of domestic violence according to Air Force Instruction 40-301, Family Advocacy Program.

Domestic violence affects everyone in the home including children. Children living in a home where domestic violence is present may show outward signs of their trauma. Infants may suffer from attachment disorders. Toddlers can suffer from sleep disturbances. Preschool children may regress developmentally. School-age children may be depressed or act out aggressively. Adolescents are at risk for recreating an abusive relationship when they begin to date.

Outreach and prevention education is available through the DAVA. Information and presentations on the overall effect of domestic violence on the community, family, and especially children are available.

If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, you are not alone. Help and support is available. For information or to seek help, contact the Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate at the Peterson Family Advocacy Program at 556-8571 or after duty hours at 244-9903.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui