Army Commanders, Soldiers, Army Families, and all members of the Army community are in strategic positions to lead the Army’s efforts to prevent domestic abuse. If each person in the community supports and participates in educational programs that deal with the challenges that accompany military life, we can build and strengthen individual and family resiliency, maintain readiness and stop domestic abuse.
As our Army community reflects upon the Army Family Covenant and the IMCOM commander’s statement of intent to sustain the Army Community of Excellence, it is clear that Army leadership is fully committed to support its families and overcome any negative forces that diminish their health and well being. Domestic abuse, at any degree of severity, undermines that commitment. As Army Families live with multiple stressors, deployments and their aftermath, conflict and distress, the involvement of the entire Army community is critical.
The Army has a comprehensive approach to the prevention of domestic abuse, assuring that all members of the Army community have the opportunity to PREPARE for the challenges that often occur in intimate relationships. The Army also provides a broad spectrum of resources everyone can use to PREVENT domestic abuse from occurring initially, and can develop skills to help restore stability and health if needed. The entire community can work together as a team to PROTECT victims and hold offenders accountable when abuse occurs.
The Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage, remain the foundation of prevention efforts. It is not easy to report abuse, especially when it occurs in a Soldier’s own home, or within a friend’s home. Reporting abuse is always a matter of Duty, Honor and Integrity, and making the report often requires Personal Courage.
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The key to effective prevention is a firm commitment from command and all members of the Army community to be prepared with knowledge about the signs of domestic abuse, and how to report it. It is essential that every member of the Army community take advantage of the many resources available to prevent abuse from occurring, and to fully engage in the efforts to help abusive individuals and Families.
“Share a sense of purpose — become Army strong, watch out for one another and intervene when necessary” — Prepare, Prevent and Protect. The Family Advocacy Program on each installation is a good starting place.
— MG Michael FerriterCommanding general, Fort Benning