October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the issue of domestic abuse is considered a top priority on Fort Bragg. Domestic abuse involves a range of acts by an abuser against a current or former spouse or significant other.

It includes a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common, or has shared a home. In an abusive relationship, power and control are repeatedly misused. Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional.

The Army has a wide range of services available to address the specific needs of Families who might be facing issues related to domestic violence. The main goal is to develop healthy relationships within the home.

Family Member Behavioral Health and Army Community Service operate the Family Advocacy Program to provide resources for servicemembers and their Families who are experiencing domestic abuse and/or child abuse. Through prevention efforts, early identification and intervention, they offer support for victims and treatment for abusers.

FMBH, a section of Womack Army Medical Center’s Department of Behavioral Health, is located at Womack’s Health Support Center on Fort Bragg. The FAP team conducts assessments and provides treatment.

Additionally, ACS sponsors prevention activities and classes at the Soldier Support Center. To learn about FAP classes and schedules, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com/acs/family-advocacy/.

Servicemembers and their Families sometimes worry about coming forward to their command or to FAP for child abuse or domestic abuse related concerns, due to the potential impact it could have on their military careers. This mindset often obstructs the chief goal of FAP and the command, which is to keep victims of abuse safe.

The goal is to help Families work through their child abuse or domestic abuse issues so servicemembers can develop healthy relationships and avoid any negative impact on their careers.

If you are in an abusive relationship or if something about your relationship with your partner scares you, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or visit their website at www.ndvh.org. Any suspected domestic abuse or child abuse for active-duty members and their Families should be reported to FMBH at 907-7869 or the Military Police at 396-0391/0392.