Belvoir’s Family Advocacy Program kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month Monday, at Army Community Service.

“Domestic violence is a serious subject that many of us feel uncomfortable talking about, and hopefully today, I’m expressing my hope and confidence that we can open up,” said Col. Michael Greenberg, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander. “We can break the paradigm, and we can shift and talk about this important subject.” 

This month, he said, people reaffirm themselves to helping put an end to the cycle of domestic violence. Providing people with information on healthy relationships and helping change attitudes that support violence, “we recognize that domestic violence can be prevented.”

FAP has made a commitment to helping those who need it, Greenberg said.

Taneshia Gray, victim advocate with FAP, said victims have different traits and backgrounds and can be men, women, or children, no matter their race or socioeconomic status. 

“We take this very seriously,” Greenberg said about the garrison’s views on domestic violence. “Not just during this month, but every month. It’s our responsibility to give military families tools they need to create, cultivate and maintain a healthy relationship.”

Healthy relationships require good communication, Gray said. Having a safe place to express oneself and being able to deal with conflict in relationships is essential. 

“No person’s voice should be hindered,” she said. 

By talking about domestic violence, we remove the stigma surrounding it, Greenberg said. 

“By removing the stigma and opening this door, we potentially can help someone who is reaching out for help,” he said.

For more information about Family Advocacy Program’s programs and services, call 571-231-7015 or 571-231-7017. The Family Advocacy Program’s 24-hour crisis hotline number is 703-229-2374.