NBG encourages healthy relationships at home
U.S. Naval Base Guam Commanding Officer Capt. Mike Ward signed a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month at NBG headquarters in Santa Rita Oct. 1.
Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Family Advocacy Program Educator Erlinda Montecalvo said this year’s theme encourages families to keep the peace within their home.
“Our title is ‘home is not a war zone’ and we need to be able to not make it a war zone,” she said. “One of the primary goals of DoD’s (Department of Defense) and the Navy’s Family Advocacy Programs (FAP) is prevention of domestic violence.”
She added that domestic violence is a widespread problem that affects military and civilians alike.
“It happens to enlisted personnel, officers, spouses, social classes, women as well as men,” she said. “It affects families of all backgrounds, education levels regardless of race or culture.”
Ward echoed Montecalvo’s sentiments and mentioned how stress can affect military families who are forward-deployed and away from home.
“As many of us know, domestic violence is a very heinous crime against one’s family that is out there,” Ward said before signing the proclamation. “Families are under a lot of stress, service members are under a lot of stress and families (who) are away from their home typically and often don’t have the resources or wherewithal to deal with that stress.”
Ward stressed the importance of paying attention to signs of domestic violence and taking action rather than turning away from a family in need. He also encouraged those faced with family disputes to turn to professionals for advice.
“Fleet and Family Service Center has some great programs to help out those families in need and get them back on the right path and get them the right resources to address the problems and address the causes of this kind of stress,” he said. “We want to bring it in particular focus of Naval Base Guam in the month of October to take a heightened look at what the Fleet and Family Service Center offers and what is out there for all of us to be aware of on the stress our families go under and when it does materialize into domestic violence events, what our responsibilities are.”
Montecalvo said FFSC is focused on raising awareness of domestic violence and helping families maintain a healthy home.
“My hope is that (families) would take back with them some positive thoughts and be a little bit more educated on domestic violence prevention and also not to wait ‘till the last minute,” she said. “When you have challenges on the home front, come visit our buildings, acquire some information on positive education; anger management is on the top of the list. The intent of these services is early identification and prevention of more significant conditions or problems, thereby promoting improved quality of life and increase resilience in individuals and families.
For more information about Domestic Violence Awareness Month, contact FFSC at 333-2056 or visit the center on NBG at buildings 106 and 104.