A man and woman holding hands.

Prevent Domestic Violence: Strengthen Your Community

No relationship is perfect. All partnerships or marriages lie somewhere on the scale of healthy and unhealthy relationships. However, it’s important to identify patterns of unhealthy and controlling behavior in our own relationships and to speak up if we see friends or family members struggling in theirs. As a community, we have a responsibility to keep each other safe, which means strengthening our own relationships and families and reaching out to others who might be in abusive situations.

Everyone deserves to be healthy and safe in their relationships. Each of us can help prevent abuse and strengthen our community by following three steps:

  1. Live by core values
  2. Strengthen family bonds
  3. Reach out to help others

Live by core values

Core values provide the foundation for how we live our lives and interact with others. Just as each branch of the military has a set of core values, so should every relationship. Core values of successful, lasting relationships include:

  • Respect — treating people well because every life has value
  • Trust — believing a person is reliable, honest
  • Commitment — promising to be loyal and keeping your word
  • Integrity — being honest and fair
  • Selflessness — putting the needs of others before your own.

Strengthen family bonds

Healthy relationships don't just happen — they take time and effort. Every couple experiences relationship challenges. No matter how tough times get, couples will benefit when they:

  • Commit to living by the core values and working through problems in a healthy way
  • Avoid letting individual or family stress escalate into domestic abuse
  • Find resources to develop positive relationships and handle common relationship challenges at every stage of life through your installation Family Advocacy Program.

Exposure to domestic violence can cause long-term harm to children's health, behavior and learning abilities. Children imitate what they see and hear, which influences how they behave today and how they parent their own children in the future. Parents can strengthen family bonds and provide good examples for their children by:

  • Modeling safe, respectful communication and conflict resolution with their spouse or partner
  • Teaching their children early about relationship core values
  • Contacting Military OneSource or their installation Family Advocacy Program for resources to help in times of relationship and family stress.

Know how to help

The Department of Defense is committed to ending domestic violence. Everyone plays a role in upholding core values that support safe, healthy relationships for all community members. If you want to help but don’t know where to start, the following information can help:

  • Call 911 if you or someone you know is being abused.
  • Call a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647 or click here for international calling options, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or your installation Family Advocacy Program for information and support around the clock if you suspect abuse.
  • Listen to the "Impact on Children" podcast through Military OneSource to learn how to help children who experience or witness family violence.
  • Check out the Military OneSource podcast "If You See Domestic Abuse Speak Up" for the information you need to know, what to look for and what you can do.

Take action to stop domestic violence in your community. Live by core values, strengthen your family and use these resources to help prevent abuse.