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Violence Prevention: Speak up, stand up

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Lauren M. Sprunk
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 23rd Wing hosted Moody’s first Violence Prevention Awareness Event Oct. 4, recognizing suicide prevention, drug abuse, stalking awareness, and domestic violence prevention.

During the event, Col. Jennifer Short, 23rd Wing commander, and Col. Jeffery Valenzia, 93rd Air Ground Operations Wing commander, signed a proclamation declaring October as Violence Prevention Awareness Month. 

“This month is all about education,” said Short. “We want as many people as possible to understand there are resources available to help them, and we want to get folks to speak up and stand up. Instead of focusing on the reaction, we want to prevent instances from happening, and that starts with all of us.”

The creation of Violence Prevention Awareness Month correlates with the development of the Air Force’s Violence Protection Program and Green Dot training in 2016. Various agencies from the base educated Airmen and their families about violence prevention practices within this program. 

“Sometimes we think bad things won’t happen because we wear this uniform, but unfortunately, they do, and it’s just a matter of who, when and how we’re prepared to handle it,” said Master Sgt. Tai Gordon, a victim of domestic violence. “Because of this, making people aware of the helping agencies available is huge.”

These resources include Family Advocacy, the Sexual Assault and Response Counselor, Drug Demand Reduction, and the Haven, an off-base shelter that provides services to victims of domestic violence.

“If the Airmen know where to go, or their supervisors know where to send them, we can prevent something like an anger management issue from becoming a very serious or possibly fatal incident,” Gordon said. “That is what events like this are designed for.”

After the proclamation signing and educational portion of the event, Airmen and families in attendance kicked off the month with a 5K run/walk and signing of the Green Dot Pledge. By signing, Airmen pledged  zero tolerance for violence at Moody.

“As a senior leader, I [sign this pledge] because I want my troops to know I’m standing against violence, I’m aware, I’m here to help and I know my resources,” Gordon said.