Once a month, Coast Guard All Hands will feature “Dear Coast Guard Family,” a column for Coast Guard families by Coast Guard spouse Rachel Conley. Rachel is married to her high school sweetheart, Chief Warrant Officer James Conley, and is the mother of three children. Rachel passionately serves as a Coast Guard Ombudsman and advocate of Coast Guard families. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the United States Coast Guard Ombudsman of the Year Award.
You are not alone. Help is available.
October is National Domestic Violence Prevention Month, an observance that serves to raise awareness and share resources. This year’s campaign encourages all of us to “know the signs” of healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors.
Domestic abuse, also known as intimate partner maltreatment, can come in many forms, including, but not limited to:
physical abuse: hitting, kicking, slapping, shoving, pinching, biting, burning, throwing objects
sexual abuse: rape, forcible sodomy, and other unwanted indecent contact that is aggravated, abusive, or wrongful (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts; demanding sex; sexual coercion, including through pressure, guilt, or shame
emotional abuse: yelling, name-calling, threats, isolation, blaming, shaming, intimidation, or obsessive behavior such as extreme jealousy, dominance and rage
neglect, economic control and/or interference with personal liberty: withholding basic needs (food, clothes, medication, shelter, etc.), withholding money, sabotaging someone’s job
Everyone deserves to be healthy and safe in their relationships. Help is available through the Coast Guard’s Family Advocacy Program. The following services and resources are available:
- Advocacy and safety planning
- Domestic violence assessment and rehabilitation
- Clinical assessments and treatment planning
- Referrals to programs such as anger management, domestic violence treatment programs, parenting classes, couples communication, and substance abuse programs
- Ongoing case managements and risk monitoring by the family advocacy specialist until the situation is resolved
- Referrals for financial assistance for victims
- Other services/resources required to address the situation
These services and resources can be accessed by contacting the family advocacy specialist at the servicing Work-Life Field Office.
To learn more about eligibly, confidentiality, and reporting options, please visit the Family Advocacy Program website.
Additional domestic violence resources:
Call 911: If you feel that someone is in immediate danger of hurting themselves or others.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides access to highly trained advocates 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship: 1-800-799-7233 or chat at www.thehotline.org
Resources to build, maintain, or strengthen relationships:
CG SUPRT provides assessment and short-term counseling for a wide range of issues such as stress, communication, family problems, relationships, parenting, anxiety, depression, work-related concerns, alcohol, substance abuse, as well as other issues that may be impacting your well-being. Counseling sessions are available in-person as well as via telephone, video and chat. Services can be requested by calling 855-CG SUPRT (247-8778) or by visiting http://www.CGSUPRT.com (select “My CG SUPRT Site” and enter “USCG” as the password).
Chaplains are available to provide confidential counseling and professional referrals. To contact your chaplain, please call 1-855-USCG-CHC (872-4242) or visit this website for contact information.