42nd ABW defenders support Domestic Violence Awareness Month Published Oct. 27, 2020 By Senior Airman Charles Welty Air University Public Affairs MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Millions of people are affected by domestic violence every year in the United States. October has been declared as Domestic Violence Awareness month in order to bring attention to this issue, show support to survivors and provide aid to victims who remain in the harmful cycle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have been a victim of domestic violence during their lifetime, including military members and their families. “Domestic abuse is not a new social trend,” said John Seeley, a civilian defender instructor and patrolman from the 42nd Security Forces Squadron. “It has been a standard topic in modern law enforcement training and a regular patrol response since the mid-twentieth century. Major changes to state and federal law concerning domestic abuse of spouses and children, and domestic violence originated in the 1970s, and law enforcement policy and training has evolved to better address this issue.” Since this is such a prevalent issue, military and civilian personnel from the 42nd SFS are trained and equipped to de-escalate and resolve domestic violence cases should they occur. The 42d SFS Defense Force Sustainment Program Training section provides ongoing support for Security Forces training centered around domestic violence and abuse. “Officers and Airmen alike are trained in how to respond to domestic disturbances (including alleged abuse) which includes safety considerations, preserving evidence, performing interviews, and generating the appropriate documentation that is required for investigatory purposes,” said Seeley. “All Security Forces members receive instruction on the signs of domestic abuse, including children and spousal, and are knowledgeable as to what resources are available to refer victims and reporting persons to for further assistance and support.” Additionally, the 42d SFS works closely with other stakeholders, both within and without the Air Force, Seeley said. This includes, but is not limited to, Family Advocacy, Judge Advocate General, our own Investigations section, and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation. “Domestic abuse and violence calls can be extraordinarily dangerous and dynamic,” said Seeley. “There is a high risk of injury and death to both responding patrols and to the alleged victim(s) and perpetrators. As with any law enforcement topic, the purpose of training is to increase officer safety while on scene, ensure that the appropriate information and gathered, and the correct steps are taken in reporting and documenting an incident as to best both rally interventions to deter domestic abuse, or pursue criminal charges following an incident.” If you or someone you know is or has been the victim of domestic violence, you can reach out to the 42nd Security Forces Squadron at (334) 953-7222 (Maxwell-Gunter only) or 1 (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.