FORT LEE, Va. – All Team Lee members are invited to participate in the October activities promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Terri Ceaser and Trish Rodriguez – both domestic abuse victim advocates with the Family Advocacy Program at ACS here – have planned a wide range of activities to increase awareness of this serious social issue that impacts 1-in-4 women and 1-in-9 men across America. On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the U.S.
Upcoming DVAM events include the following:
- Oct. 4 - Joint Forces Run at Williams Stadium, 5:30 a.m.
- Oct. 11 - Domestic Violence Awareness Dance Off in the Hideaway club, starting at 5 p.m.
- Oct. 25 - “Kick Domestic Violence” Kickball Tournament at Williams Stadium, starting at 11 a.m.
“At the Joint Forces Troop Run next Friday, we will engage all branches of service on the installation – Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines,” Ceaser said. “This is a motivational, teambuilding activity during morning physical training hours meant to raise awareness of domestic violence among a large group of troops. The ALU Support Battalion will take the lead on this event.”
There will be speakers before and after the run, she noted. The run distance typically ranges around three miles, and should conclude around 7 a.m.
“Our second event – the DVAM Dance Off on Oct. 11 – is free and open to all on post,” Ceaser continued. “The main goal of the evening is to bring people and couples together for relaxation and fun through friendly competition. It will feature a DJ and an instructor teaching line dancing, which is meant to get everyone involved. The discussion of domestic violence can be a heavy topic, and we have found events like these that bring people together can go a long way toward awareness and action.”
Rodriguez said the kickball tournament on Oct. 25 has become an annual tradition for the installation’s DVAM observance. “Much like the dance-off, it’s meant to be a fun and lighthearted activity that also happens to increase awareness of domestic violence. We expect a full turnout of teams from all organizations and branches of service. The winners will receive a trophy and door prizes.”
Much like September’s Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month campaign, DVAM is meant to raise awareness, generate discussion and encourage prevention through education and intervention. Stopping domestic violence is a full-time pursuit. Throughout the year, Ceaser and Rodriguez do briefings with commands to keep the discussion going.
“Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, we just want to bring greater awareness across the installation,” Rodriguez said. “We like to get people involved and active with these events. We also like to spread the word on what our group offers to military personnel. There is one message we endeavor to get across during this annual campaign – no one deserves to be a victim of domestic violence.”
For more information about the observance and its associated events at Fort Lee, contact Ceaser at 804-734-7378 or Rodriguez at 804-734-6459.