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Vandenberg raising awareness for domestic violence

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Thirty percent of active duty military women report an occurrence with it in their lifetime. Of that thirty percent, 22 reported it while on active duty.

It is a serious problem that affects those involved and those around.

One in every four women has experienced it.

Young boys who witness it are twice as likely to repeat it in their lifetime.

What is it?

Domestic violence

Vandenberg is participating in the worldwide movement to curb and hopefully eliminate domestic violence. During the month of October, Vandenberg Airmen and residence will be exposed to many truths about domestic violence.

"We have a number of events and projects scheduled that will help people understand that domestic violence is real and that it affects people right here at Vandenberg," said Pauline Chui, a 30th Medical Support Squadron family advocate.

Vandenberg kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month during the September Fit-to-Fight run. During the run, participants were allowed to wear purple shirts to raise awareness to domestic abuse.

Not only were shirts worn, they were also on display. "The Clothesline Project" was on exhibit at the beginning of the race for Airmen to view. The project showcases shirts that are designed by victims of domestic abuse. It will stay on display the first week of October. 

An ongoing event to raise awareness is the silent witness silhouettes that are placed across the base. Each silhouette contains the story of a victim to domestic violence.

"These projects do a great job helping people understand the affects of domestic violence, and where it can lead," Mrs. Chui said.

The largest event scheduled to highlight the affects of domestic violence is the Domestic Violence March, which will be held March 20 at 4 p.m. The march will take place in base housing and will culminate with a candlelight vigil.

At the march, Col. David Buck, 30th Space Wing commander, is scheduled to sign a commitment with the heads of local police departments to work together in thwarting and preventing domestic violence.

"As military members and DoD civilians it is our obligation to report domestic violence," said Mrs. Chui. "The commitment is our base commander doing his part as a military leader to work with others to stop domestic abuse."

Anyone who is aware of domestic violence occurring should immediately call law enforcement at 606-3911. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, an anonymous help line is available at 805-736-0965.