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 Wednesday, April 13, 2005
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Post joins local agencies to fight domestic violence
Campbell first Army post to participate in program



Greg Williamson/The Leaf-Chronicle

Helen Kinton, left, executive director of the Sanctuary, Hopkinsville; Maj. Gen. Thomas Turner, commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell; Debby Tucker, executive director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence; and Patricia Mock, executive director of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, sign a promise to work together to rid violence in the home.

DOMESTIC ABUSE IN THE ARMY

This list shows the number of confirmed spouse abuse cases at Fort Campbell and throughout the Army. The years are fiscal years, which begin Oct. 1 and end Sept. 30.

Year Fort Campbell Armywide

2000 218 3,502

2001 237 3,354

2002 200 3,276

2003 126* 2,940

2004 129* 2,603

  • Most of the 101st Airborne Division deployed to Iraq between March 2003 and February 2004. Multiple incidents could involve the same victim.

    Source: Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office


    Greg Williamson/The Leaf-Chronicle

    Local dignitaries gathered at Fort Campbell as executives and post leaders signed an agreement to work together to help fight domestic violence.
  • Fort Campbell is blazing trails to rid its ranks of violence in the home with a first-time written agreement between post and area leaders.

    The Memorandum of Understanding for the Military/Civilian Coordinated Community Response Demonstration was signed Tuesday by more than 40 agencies that deal with domestic violence in Montgomery County, Fort Campbell and Christian County, Ky.

    Fort Campbell is the first Army post to go through this program, which is coordinated for military installations through the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Austin, Texas. The pilot project is administered under the federal 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

    The agreement's goal is to unite agencies to lessen destructive behavior within families. In January 2006, the group will submit a grant application for federal money from the U.S. Department of Justice.

    Domestic violence is a difficult problem for Fort Campbell because, according to the Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Law of 1968, anyone convicted of domestic assault is prohibited from having or using firearms.

    Because every soldier is issued a rifle or pistol, a domestic assault conviction ends the soldier's days as a fighter in the Army. The Army must contend with a balance of protecting the victim while not ruining the soldier's career.

    Three soldiers at Fort Campbell, each assigned to units other than the 101st Airborne Division, are affected by the Lautenberg law, according to post officials.

    "Although the vast majority of our soldiers and citizens have never been involved in such violence, even one such event can forever scar an entire community, destroy a family and impact on our unit readiness," said post and division commander Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Turner, who signed the memorandum. "It is important to note that this is not the first chapter in our effort to help couples work through the friction and problems that sometimes result in violence and abuse."

    Debby Tucker, executive director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, thanked the more than 60 people inside the Eagle Conference Room for their commitment to ending domestic violence.

    "You're blazing new ground, and we're setting the blueprint," Tucker said.

    The agencies will meet in May for a two-day fact-finding session to determine what works and what doesn't within the system. From looking at the causes of violence to putting violators in jail, everyone has a part to play to make it as fair as possible.

    Pat Mock, executive director of Legal Aid Society of Clarksville, said the signing demonstrated a commitment by Fort Campbell.

    "It's extremely exciting to bring attention to this area," said Mock, whose office handles 95 percent of Montgomery and surrounding counties' orders of protection. "All of the partners have a special perspective. My perspective is representing victims. Hopefully, in doing that we can get a sense of the big picture."

    Legal Aid attorney Kendra Mansur said nearly one-third of her order-of-protection cases involve military families. She said the most difficult part of her job is getting people to recognize that domestic violence is wrong.

    "Historically, women at one time were treated as property," Mansur said. "We need to (understand) that hitting, assaulting or hurting someone is a crime."

    Chantal Escotocovers military affairs and can be reached at 245-0216 or by e-mail at chantalescoto@theleafchronicle.com.

    Originally published April 13, 2005

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