Domestic violence is an issue that can happen at any time, but with the new Domestic Violence Helpline aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, victims of domestic violence can receive help and support calling 376-5675.
Available to active-duty Marines, sailors, their spouses or family members, the helpline offers assistance and advice through trained victims’ advocates said Janice Kight, Family Advocacy Program branch manager.
Anyone can call the helpline anonymously for questions and assistance regarding domestic violence without opening a case.
“We’ve had a large amount of growth in our program and needed to expand,” said Kight. “We separated from the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response hotline to better help domestic violence victims.”
Kight added, most people who call the helpline often feel unsafe or threatened and just want answers. The victims’ advocates can answer any question a caller has regarding domestic violence.
A goal of the Family Advocacy Program is to prevent domestic violence including safety plans, shelter or protective orders.
“We try to empower the person to get help or prevent the domestic violence,” said Kight. “Some victims are hesitant and unsure of the unknown.”
Alicia Lucky, domestic violence victims’ advocacy specialist with Family Advocacy Program, said she strives to help the victims as much as possible in her work, whether it’s through ensuring their safety, helping them in court or working with commands for disciplinary actions.
“The number is widely known, so the victims feel more comfortable calling,” said Lucky. “Knowing that all the advocates are local and not in a call center a few states away, helps the victim be more open to calling.”
Lucky added, many victims think because the crime happened overnight that they have to wait to be seen in the office, but the helpline ensures the victim can get help immediately 24/7.
Advocates on call are able to meet with victims within two hours of being alerted, as long as they’re aboard the installation with military police present.
“I was aboard a previous installation where all calls went to the Provosts Marshal’s Office, so the advocates were not alerted of a domestic violence situation until morning,” said Lucky. “The helpline has given callers more confidence in making informed decisions and given them a voice in their case.”