PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH) and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, signed a proclamation Sept. 30 designating the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month aboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Rear Adm. Dixon Smith signed the proclamation during a ceremony at the Warfighter and Family Services Center (WFSC) aboard the facility.
"I want to thank you for all that you do in trying to eradicate domestic violence," said Smith. "We're not perfect yet, but we're definitely making progress. This is a very important issue, and we need to stay ferocious on our attack to eliminate domestic violence."
Within the proclamation it is stated, "whereas we in the Navy community have an obligation to be more aware of the negative effects of domestic violence, as well as its prevention in the community, and become actively involved in supporting domestic violence programs and services."
The "Clothesline Project" served as the background display for the speakers during the event. The project consists of a t-shirt collection designed by survivors of domestic violence, as a way to express their feelings and tell their story.
During the ceremony, Chet Adessa, WFSC family advocacy prevention education specialist, spoke about the importance of raising awareness to cease domestic abuse.
"It is important that federal, state and local organizations unite to promote public awareness about domestic violence and its harmful effects on our families," Adessa said. "I want to encourage people to not remain silent when someone they know abuses their spouse. Don't look the other way, because this is a very serious issue that affects a lot of people."
Chief Intelligence Specialist (SW) Eric Vaphides, USS Russell (DDG 59), gave his perspective on domestic violence awareness and how personnel can prevent it.
"The biggest thing that we can do to help fight this is through educating our service members on the issues and problems that surround domestic violence," Vaphides said. "
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrh/.