Domestic violence still issue in Corps

30 Oct 2008 | Cpl. Jessica Martinez

There were 86 homicides related to domestic violence during 2007. So far this year there have been 81.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Every Friday this month at the Exchange, Marine Corps Community Services is setting up displays to heighten awareness of domestic violence in the community. MCCS wants people to know the signs to look for, how to prevent, treat and report domestic violence, and even where to turn to for help.

“Domestic violence is a serious and important issue,” said Joele Phillips, an education and intervention trainer at the Community Counseling Center. “It’s not a personal or private matter. Instead it’s a community issue and it’s redress is a community responsibility and obligation.”

Domestic abuse is a behavior resulting in control of the victim said Jennifer O’Hare, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Domestic violence is the use, attempt or threat to use violence or force against a person. The people involved are either partners, a spouse or share a child.

“The primary aggressor is the person who uses the most aggression,” said O’Hare. “It’s not always the person who started the fight first.”

Domestic violence is chargeable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with Article 128, assault, and Article 92, violation of a lawful order.

“Verbal abuse is the number one predictor of violence,” said O’Hare. “Domestic violence is the third leading cause of injury related deaths in women 15 to 44 years old and 33 percent of female victims are killed by their partner.”

Domestic violence happens to women and men, adults and children, the young and old. It doesn’t affect just one person.

“I think it’s really important for men and women, family and friends to know who to turn to and how to approach situations with domestic violence,” said Debra Dunn, a transportation specialist and military spouse. “Some people are afraid to confront it. Life is stressful but the help is available. We need to protect our children and educate adults.”

Domestic violence has a direct impact on Marines, sailors and their families, and in turn it affects moral and mission readiness.