October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month, and the Department of Defense is launching the United to End Domestic Abuse campaign. Social media posts will use the #JoinForcesToEndAbuse hashtag.

Getting help for an abusive relationship is difficult, and during a global pandemic, it can be an even greater challenge. In times of increased isolation, make yourself available for scheduled check-ins with those who may feel unsafe at home ? whether it be by phone, text, or social media. This supports them and also helps you better identify if someone needs help or if you need to call help for them.

Preventing abuse starts with understanding what makes relationships safe and healthy. Marine Corps Family Team Building offers a number of relevant courses, including Building Lasting Relationships and Say What? The Family Advocacy Program (FAP) offers Married and Loving It and Within My Reach, workshops that help couples build healthy relationship skills. The Community Counseling Program offers couples counseling.

While the COVID-19 crisis has increased the stress on some relationships, resources, services, and help are always available. FAP is committed to supporting Marines and families impacted by domestic abuse by providing advocacy, crisis services, and counseling. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, and you are not sure what to do, make a call to one of the victim advocates on your installation. You may be the one person who can help a victim who has been restricted from access to all help—no access to phones, the alleged abuser doesn’t allow the victim to go outside of the home alone, lives in a remote location, etc. You can be that voice.

Help is also available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233) and Military OneSource (800-342-9647). 

For more information, see these MilitaryOneSource articles:

Family Advocacy Program: The Essentials

The Family Advocacy Program

Domestic Abuse: Military Reporting Options

Technology (Mis)Use and Your Relationship

How to Document Technology Misuse by Your Partner

Getting help for relationship sexual abuse

Navigating Relationship Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When Home Isn’t Safe: Tips for Victims of Domestic Abuse  

Tips for helping a friend experiencing domestic abuse during COVID-19