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NEWS | Oct. 15, 2021

JB MDL supports victims of interpersonal violence and domestic abuse

By Airman 1st Class Joseph Morales Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs

On Aug. 1, 2021, the Special Victims’ Counsel expanded the scope of its services available to active-duty service members on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., to support interpersonal violence victims. Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, IPV includes: dating violence, family violence, and workplace violence.

The SVC’s mission is to advise clients on their rights, connect them to available military and civilian resources, and advocate for them throughout the military justice process. The expansion of their services includes supporting victims of variety of crimes to include sexual assault, attempted murder, stalking, wrongful broadcasting or viewing, other sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and maltreatment within the workplace.

“What we are trying to do is empower our clients and help them have confidence in the military justice process,” said Staff Sgt. Casey Shahan, JB MDL Special Victims’ Paralegal. “We take the burden away from our client and act as the face throughout the legal process. We represent our service members who may be victims of serious crimes and also support our active duty members with consultations regarding any other crimes.”

Additional resources for domestic violence include the Family Advocacy Program, which offers services like prevention services, therapy, counseling, new parent support programs, intervention, safety planning, and case management. These services are available for families and service members in need of support or are victims or survivors of domestic violence.

“We want to encourage people to report and get the help that they need,” said Christina Hernandez, Family Advocacy Program Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate. “Victims have some options when it comes to reporting, you can make a restricted or unrestricted report. Resources are available to you and we want you to make use of them.”

October marks the observance of domestic violence awareness month. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.

For more information on SVC, contact (609) 754-0552 or (609) 754-6062. For more information on the Family Advocacy Program, contact (609) 754-9680 from Monday to Friday 7:30am to 4:30pm, or the 24/7 help line at (609) 283-5015.