Family Advocacy Program spearheads MacDill Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Bradley Tipton
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Each October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. With it is a chance to discuss the warning signs of abuse and ways to seek help. A common theme regarding mental wellness on military installations is to seek help now, and that theme is front and center for the monthly campaign against any form of domestic violence.

“My advice is to speak out to a trusted person. Be bold and beautiful. Let someone know what you’re dealing with,” said Andrea Bowen, the 6th Medical Operations Support Squadron Family Advocacy Outreach Manager.

Twenty years of experience as a social worker led Bowen to believe domestic violence is not always visible from the outside and could affect anyone.

“Domestic violence can be on different levels, emotional or mental,” said Bowen. “There is no typical profile. There may be anger management issues, finance issues, changing family dynamics, or a new development in the family. There’s not just one factor.”

Bowen’s own experiences led to her stance on domestic violence, and willingness to help others.

“I grew up in a violent urban environment, but had loving family members. I got into the social worker field to change things,” said Bowen. “Awareness of domestic violence is important because relationships are important. You cannot survive without a healthy relationship.”

Community outreach for the campaign began with a proclamation signing by Hillsborough County commissioners, an awareness walk, and a prayer vigil with community partners at a local church.

The final “Strike Out Domestic Violence” event is scheduled to take place at the MacDill bowling alley Monday, Oct. 30, at 11:00 a.m.

MacDill’s Family Advocacy program provides resources for service members to promote happy and healthy military families. One of those resources is the Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate. Services include safety planning, emotional support, assistance filing civilian protection orders, court accompaniment, and information and referrals. 

“Many victims experiencing domestic abuse are afraid and don’t know what to do or who to turn to,” said Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate Diane Allgaier with the 6th MDOS. “Everyone has a right to feel safe at home and live free from abuse.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of physical, mental, or emotional domestic abuse, there are multiple avenues through which you can seek help. MacDill’s Family Advocacy clinic can be reached at (813) 827-9172. Additionally, the Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate is available 24/7 and can be reached at 813-279-1320 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).