Nearly 600 members of the Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL) community participated in a Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sponsored event last Friday as part of the base’s attempt to raise awareness about domestic violence.
What in previous years was the Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence Run, a 5K attended primarily by active duty military, has morphed into a family friendly “Zombie Run.” Participants of all ages were chased down Franklin Boulevard by approximately 50 members of the Fleet Readiness Center West (FRC West) dressed like zombies.
“Domestic Violence affects all age groups, so we wanted this event to be family-friendly, with fun and learning tips for everyone,” said Diane Biros, the family advocacy victim advocate of NASL’s Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC).
Participants wore strips of caution tape and if a zombie ripped it off, they were invited to be “re-humanized” at a station part-way through the course. In order to be “re-humanized,” participants had to answer age-appropriate questions about domestic violence and the resources available to them on the base.
“Overall awareness is absolutely essential and we are doing a great job," said NASL Command Master Chief (CMC) Joe Lovelace. "This is one event that shows we’re interested and involved.”
The post-run carnival was held behind Spuds Restaurant & Pub and included various booths offering services and providing information on domestic violence prevention. Attendees were also invited to win prizes and rock climb.
“We are so thrilled with the turnout,” said Brynn Landerholm, NASL MWR Gym and Fitness Center program manager. “It was a group effort and we couldn’t have executed the event without FRC volunteers. This is certainly among the best showings I have seen. Our next run is Trot for Tots on Dec. 1.”
According a report published by the Department of Defense in 2015, there were 16,109 incidents that met the DoD criteria for domestic and child abuse in fiscal year 2014. A memorandum written by Rosemary F. Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family, in 2015 read that the DoD’s rates for domestic abuse were about half that of their civilian counterparts, but that there was an increase of 189 incidents between fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
If you are in need of help or information, contact the NASL FFSC Family Advocacy Program Victim Advocacy at (559) 998-4034. The 24-hour crisis hotline is (559) 469-5061.