Discover your resources: Domestic Violence Awareness
By Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Bassham, 366th Fighter Wing
/ Published November 03, 2020
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Don’t stay silent. The month of October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month; each October is an opportunity to remind our community on the signs of domestic violence and how they can help.
The Elmore County Domestic Violence Council (ECDVC) met with Col. Jamaal Mays, 366th Fighter Wing deputy commander and Mountain Home AFB Key Spouses for the first time to discuss ways to better assist when a military spouse needs help.
The ECDVC talked about the resources that the shelter had to offer and took Col. Mays and the key spouses on a tour of the facility.
Key spouses are trained volunteers that provide personal or peer-to-peer support for their squadron’s families.
“I believe if the key spouses of Mountain Home AFB had been established when my daughter Kathleen was in great need and while she was reaching out, she would have been given knowledgeable, caring support,” said Kathy Figueredo, ECDVC president. “She just may be alive today.”
In 2003, Figueredo’s daughter Kathleen and her unborn baby were murdered by Kathleen’s husband, a sergeant at MHAFB. Losing her daughter to the lack of support during that time was what drove Kathy to open the ECDVC shelter. Figueredo now provides resources to other spouses to protect them from the same outcome as her daughter.
The key spouses receive their training from the Mountain Home AFB Family Advocacy Program (FAP).
FAP is committed to supporting service members and their families impacted by domestic abuse. They are also there to promote safety through early identification of unhealthy relationship patterns and reporting abuse.
“Key spouses are an important part of our mission,” said Candice Balcazar, ECDVC program manager. “They have direct communication between military spouses and command to help bridge gaps when a military spouse needs our help. They can help with referrals and help ease minds for their fellow spouses when explaining all the services that our organization can provide.”
ECDVC is committed to providing every victim of partner violence a reliable place to turn for help, validation and refuge.
“Mountain Home AFB has made strides in supporting victims of domestic violence,” said Figueredo. “The ECDVC board is extremely grateful for working in unison. MHAFB brought essential knowledge, skill and experience, and we are looking forward to continuing to work as a team together.”
There is no way to predict an abusive partner’s behavior, but it is essential to recognize the relationship’s warning signs of increased danger.
“Unfortunate situations may arise, but if they occur the base is committed to caring for our Airmen and families,” said Col. Mays, 366th FW deputy commander.
Even though October has come to an end, it is crucial to remember that October is not the only month to speak out or receive help.
Read more about the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council: http://www.ecdvc.org/
Contact them: 208.590.0379
24/7 Crisis Hotline: 208.587.3300
Weekly support group: 208.598.1811
Read more about the Department of Defense Family Advocacy Program: https://www.thehotline.org/
Contact them: 1.800.799.SAFE(7233)
Contact Mountain Home AFB Family Advocacy Program: 208.828.7266
Contact your MHAFB Key Spouses: 208.828.2458