Fort McCoy News October 10, 2014

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Public Affairs Staff

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The 2014 campaign theme is "Relationships Should Be Safe, Respectful and Positive."

Photo for Domestic Violence month article
Terry Rogalla, Fort McCoy Family Advocacy Program manager, sets up a display table Oct. 1 with information about domestic violence awareness at McCoy's Community Club. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

The campaign's goal is to raise the awareness about the immense issue of domestic abuse that exists in far too many relationships, said Terry Rogalla, Fort McCoy Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Manager at Army Community Service (ACS).

The month places special focus on the dynamics, facts and impacts domestic violence has on individuals, Families, and ultimately, society as a whole, he said.

This year's theme targets the idea that if there is success in achieving safe, respectful and positive relationships, domestic violence will be eradicated completely, Rogalla said. "Healthy relationships contain all three of these and are ultimately 'life giving' instead of 'life stifling.'"

The Department of Defense defines domestic violence as "the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force or violence against a person who is a current or former spouse, a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common, or a current or former intimate partner with whom the abuser shares or has shared a common domicile."

Anyone struggling with an abusive/controlling relationship should reach out and use the resources and support that is available to them. Trained victim advocates are available at ACS, at Brighter Tomorrows in Tomah and Sparta, Wis., and at New Horizons in La Crosse, Wis.

"We know it can be very difficult to reach out and takes a great amount of courage and trust. We get that, and are here to do anything we can to assist victims and their Families," Rogalla said. "All advocacy services are entirely confidential unless there is an imminent threat to someone, or if child abuse or neglect is reported." There is no charge to receive advocacy services.

If someone's life is in jeopardy, law enforcement should be contacted immediately, Rogalla said. FAP also provides educational and prevention presentations, works to raise awareness of Family violence, and provides intervention services for active-duty Families dealing with domestic abuse.

Parenting courses, relationship enhancement seminars, Family relationship-building events and activities, and recommendations for individual, couples and Family counseling also are available.

"We are here to help with any aspect of Family violence, from preventing it, providing advocacy, consultation with leadership, to intervention services," Rogalla said.

Rogalla said Master of Social Work Intern Codi Farmer, who will be working at ACS until May, assists with all aspects of FAP and the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) under the guidance and supervision of the FAP/EFMP manager.

"Domestic violence is not just a personal issue between spouses/partners; it is a societal problem. And within the military, it is ultimately a readiness issue that affects the ability to execute and complete the military's mission," Rogalla said.

More information about domestic violence is available at resource tables that are set up during October at the Exchange, building 1538, and McCoy's Community Club, building 1571. For information and help regarding domestic violence year-round, visit the ACS Center, building 2111, or call 608-388-3505/2412.