Fort McCoy News October 25, 2013

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Helping to prevent and address domestic violence in the Fort McCoy community is everyone's job.

Terry Rogalla, Fort McCoy Family Advocacy Program Manager (FAPM), said October is being observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month throughout the Department of Defense. The theme is "End Domestic Violence: Recognized It, Report It, Prevent It."

"The campaign can be successful when everyone plays a role in ending domestic violence," Rogalla said, "and no one assumes that it is someone else's responsibility to recognize, report and prevent it."

"Domestic violence undermines the ability of Families to be resilient, and it also undermines readiness," Rogalla said. "Domestic violence has no place in today's Army. Addressing domestic violence not only promotes safety, trust, and respect within our Families, but also within the entire community."

People in the Fort McCoy community who are the target of domestic abuse, including Soldiers, Family members and significant others, should be aware of the two different reporting options for domestic violence, Rogalla said.

Restricted reporting can be done to certain personnel, such as victim advocates, the FAPM, and military medical providers.
When possible, the information is kept confidential and the incident is not reported to the chain of command or investigated by authorities, he said.

"The one (mitigating) factor in all of this is if it's an incident that someone is in imminent danger," he said. "Then the goal is to ensure everyone involved is safe so the report may not be able to be restricted."

Unrestricted reporting means the incident is reported up the chain of command and is investigated, Rogalla said. Making an unrestricted report doesn't automatically end a Soldier's career; it actually may save it by getting the Soldier the help he/she needs, he said. If the abuser takes the necessary steps, such as securing counseling or going through a program to correct the situation and no more violence occurs, often that will be the end of the case.

Rogalla said Fort McCoy also partners with the Brighter Tomorrows organization in the local communities. Brighter Tomorrows has offices in Sparta and Tomah and has a 24/7 hotline (888-886-2327) for people to call with suspected cases of domestic violence.

Anyone wanting more information about domestic violence can stop by the resource tables that will be available during the month of October at the Exchange, building 1538; McCoy's, building 1571; and the Community Activity Center, building 2000.

Questions about domestic violence prevention and intervention can be directed to Army Community Service at 608-388-3505/2412.