U.S. NAVAL AIR STATION JOINT RESERVE BASE FORT WORTH, Texas --
The 301st Fighter Wing Airman & Family Readiness Center hosted a Domestic Violence Awareness event during the wing's unit training assembly, October 16, 2021, at U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. The event, which consisted of free coffee, doughnuts, and interactive games, was aimed at creating a culture of togetherness. It also provided an opportunity to share resource information on preventing domestic violence as well as help base personnel put a face to the people who are there to serve them at the A&FR Center.
Jimm Harper, 301 FW violence prevention integrator, hopes the event promotes awareness of the domestic violence which occurs within the armed forces.
“We provide training and education, resilience building skills, and resources for folks who are experiencing any number of potential interpersonal or self-directed violence scenarios," he said. "My mandate is to provide as much prevention for those issues that I can. It is important to help those who have been hurt, so we can support our mission to train and deploy combat ready Airmen.”
The event is also an opportunity for people to eat and chat, encouraging positive conversation.
“It is about connectedness,” said Harper. “It is about people who might not normally see each other coming together, having some coffee and having a doughnut. They can chat for a few minutes and get to know their wingman a little bit better.”
An activity in their conversations included A&FR Center personnel asking the guests who stopped by hypothetical questions to encourage conversation and to promote approaches for prevention and reaction to potential abuse.
Tech. Sgt. Cesar Martinez, 73rd Aerial Port Squadron cargo processing supervisor, expressed appreciation for the event, commenting on the unfortunate rise in domestic abuse cases during the pandemic.
“With suicide and domestic violence rates climbing during COVID-19, with the lockdown and families staying home, tensions get high. It is important to bring awareness for the victims, Martinez said. "It is important to have the opportunity to come out here to learn and speak about it. It is fantastic, but we've got to get those numbers down. I like that the A&FR [team] is doing this, and that our leadership is coming out here and supporting this.”
Harper and the Airman & Family Readiness Center exist to provide resources, to be resources and to help Airmen and those impacted by this violence.
“If you think you know someone who may be in an abusive relationship, there are things you can do to help,” said Harper. “First, ask them how you can help. Provide them with the National Domestic Violence Hotline Number: 800-799-7233 (SAFE). Support and believe them by reminding them they are not alone and that you are there for them.”