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Home : News : News
NEWS | Oct. 3, 2019

The color purple helps shed light on domestic violence

By Robert Goetz 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Five buildings throughout Joint Base San Antonio are bathed in purple light each night this month, a reminder to the base community of violent acts that tear families and relationships apart and often have a ripple effect that lasts through the victim’s lifetime.

Purple is the color of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is observed each October to “bring awareness to an issue that does not discriminate,” said Angela Nance, JBSA-Randolph Family Advocacy Program intervention specialist.

“Domestic violence is any violent act committed by one person against another in a marriage or intimate partner relationship,” she said. “No matter your socioeconomic status, educational background, gender, race, age, color, religion, sexual orientation or rank, you can be a victim or offender.”

In addition to the illumination of the JBSA buildings in purple – the water tower and Military Entrance Processing Station at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the 37th Training Wing headquarters and Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center at JBSA-Lackland and the Taj Mahal at JBSA-Randolph – this month’s focus on domestic violence will feature educational outreach at information tables inside JBSA health care facilities, the JBSA-Lackland Exchange and during the Children’s Health Fair Oct. 26 at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Domestic violence is so pervasive that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience some form of it in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It takes many forms and does not look the same for every family experiencing it, said Chantelle Stoops, JBSA-Lackland FAP outreach manager.

“It can involve physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse,” she said. “There are many behaviors associated with domestic violence and a main characteristic is power and control. Individuals use tactics such as threats, intimidation, isolation, privilege and/or blaming as means to maintain power and control over their partner/spouse.”

Domestic violence impacts the military mission, said Jessica Reynolds, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston FAP intervention specialist.

“Domestic violence affects the mission because whenever there are things that are going on with the active-duty member’s family, it affects the service member,” she said. “For example, if there is a level of domestic violence in the relationship, depending on the severity this can cause the active-duty member to not be focused and present during their mission.”

Prevention of domestic violence must occur at individual, community and institutional levels, Stoops said.

“A key prevention strategy is educating and modeling healthy relationships that are based on mutual respect, communication, equality and boundaries, just to name a few,” she said.

Prevention can also come through awareness of what domestic violence looks like, Reynolds said.

“Some people think of a woman who looks battered,” she said. “However, domestic violence can come in many different forms such as neglect, sexual assault, and emotional and psychological abuse. In addition, men can be victims of domestic violence.”

Help is out there for anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, Stoops said.

“We recognize leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult and extremely dangerous,” she said. “It is important that a victim reach out to Family Advocacy and/or agencies in the community such as the Bexar County Family Justice Center to get help whether they decide to terminate or continue the relationship.”

Family Advocacy’s domestic abuse victim advocates are available 24/7 through the crisis hotline, 210-367-1213, for safety planning and crisis management, Stoops said.

“Victim advocates can also work with victims to access medical, legal and counseling services,” she said. “We have restricted and unrestricted reporting options for active-duty members and their dependents and partners.”

In addition to FAP representatives and domestic abuse victim advocates, resources at the base level include health care providers, chaplains, Military & Family Life Consultants and Military OneSource, Nance said.

“But if you are in immediate danger, you should call 911 or your local law enforcement agency,” she said.

FAP representatives at JBSA can be reached by calling 210-221-1996 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston; 210-292-5967 at JBSA-Lackland; or 210-652-6308 at JBSA-Randolph.