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Domestic Violence Awareness Month: I Can We Can

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Michael Ellis
  • 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and members at the 59th Medical Wing rallied together to make pledges on what they could do individually and collectively to stop domestic violence during an event hosted by the Family Advocacy program.

Tables were cluttered with various colors of paint, stickers and markers. In collaboration with the nation slogan "I Can We Can," supporters painted and decorated their hand and wrote what they are going to do to help stop domestic violence.

"It's really about making it personal and expressing what you can do to end domestic violence," said Dorie Budde, 59th MDW domestic abuse victim advocate.

Budde has been at the 59th MDW for 2 and a half years, but has worked in Family Advocacy for 13 years.  Her best advice is to speak up and do not ignore signs of domestic violence.

The 59th MDW has three domestic abuse victim advocates available to assist victims 24 hours a day.

"We have the most domestic abuse victim advocates at Joint Base San Antonio than any other installation," said Chandra Peterson, 59th MDW Family Advocacy manager. 

Communication with victim advocates is considered privileged, which allows victims the option of doing restricted or unrestricted reporting. Only allegations reported to domestic abuse victim advocates, the sexual assault response coordinator, medical provider or Family Advocacy program staff, allows the restricted reporting option.

According to Peterson, young adults, though sometimes overlooked, have been proven to be particularly vulnerable to domestic violence. 

"Actually, 18 to 24 year olds are at the greatest risk for abuse," said Peterson. "Intimate partner violence does not require marriage and can happen between any two people in a close relationship."

Domestic violence generally occurs in three stages.

First, tensions builds as the victim feels angry, afraid or unfairly treated; and the abuser feels tense, frustrated or jealous.

Then, a violent episode occurs where the victim feels trapped or helpless, while the abuser is enraged.

Finally, the victim feels guilty or in denial, while the abuser is apologetic and remorseful.

It is important to look out for signs of current or future abuse in your relationship or in those around you.  To make the pledge to end domestic violence, visit the "I Can We Can" website at

To report an incidence of abuse, call the Domestic Violence 24-hour care line at 210-367-1213.