An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 26, 2022

Stand with your military community to ‘Break the Silence’ to end domestic abuse

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). The Coast Guard is partnering with the other military services to raise awareness of domestic abuse through a service-wide campaign. The 2022 campaign, “Breaking the Silence” encourages the military community to unite and speak up against domestic abuse. This observance is designed to provide resources and information to help those in the military community recognize the signs of domestic abuse and lets victims know how they can get help. 

This year’s campaign seeks to support victims with a clear message: If you are experiencing abuse in your relationship, you don't have to face it alone. 

The Coast Guard Family Advocacy Program (FAP) is a congressionally mandated program designed to prevent and respond to allegations of intimate partner abuse (IPA), child abuse and neglect (CAN), and problematic sexual behavior in children and youth (PSB-CY).  

FAP offers prevention services, education, early identification, risk, and safety planning, psychosocial assessments, individual, couples and family counseling, referrals to evidenced based treatment and rehabilitation services resulting in the reduction of maltreatment. It also provides referrals for emergency services, legal assistance, and housing. If needed, the Family Advocacy Specialists located at Regional Health, Safety, and Work-Life offices can help victims get a military or civilian protection order. The FAP goal is to promote and maintain safe and healthy relationships and a mission ready work force.

The FAP family advocacy specialists (FAS) are licensed providers and always available to support victims and others affected by domestic abuse. Whether you are looking for information, support, counseling to improve your relationship or you are at the point where you need a safe place to stay or want to leave an unhealthy relation, the FAP and FASs are here for you.    

Potential victims extend beyond spouses of military members. They may also include those who are dating, living together, or who have children in common.


Military service members and families have two ways to report domestic abuse:  
Restricted reporting (also known as private and confidential reporting) – preserves preserves the privacy of adult victims and limits who is involved, except under certain circumstances; 
Unrestricted reporting – victims can enlist law enforcement to conduct an investigation of the incident, which includes contacting the alleged abuser and command. 

Your nearest FAS can help you understand your options for reporting, document your domestic abuse, create a safety plan, and connect you to a network of support. 

We all deserve relationships that are free from abuse and violence. If your partner’s actions make you feel uncomfortable or hurt you in any way, you are not alone. We can help you.

The strength and unity of our military community presents a unique opportunity for this year’s campaign. It begins with supporting victims, modeling and promoting safe and healthy relationships, providing ways for a person to set boundaries within their relationships, and ensure a network of assistance during stressful or unsafe times. Let’s acknowledge our role in keeping everyone safe and support their resilience in the face of adversity, while showing those directly affected that help is available.

Additional Resources: 

  • Family Advocacy Program - If you are a victim of intimate partner abuse or need help with feeling safe online or in your relationship, contact your local Work-Life Field Office, Family Advocacy Program at 1-202-475-5100. A Family Advocacy Specialist is available to offer free and confidential support, counseling, safety planning, and resources. Points of contact are Johanna MacGillivray,  Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Advocacy Program Manager, 202-475-5161, or Marshe Milbourne-Jackson, licensed professional counselors, HSWL Service Center FAP Coordinator, 757-628-4374,
  • CG SUPRT – CG SUPRT is available to assist active duty members, reservists, civilian employees, and family members with a full range of issues such as financial matters, relationship discord and other work life stressors. Call 1-855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778) or go online at:
  • CGMA Safe Harbor Program – The Safe Harbor Program provides essential funds to prevent privation by offering a combination of grants and interest-free loans as needed for shelter, food, transportation, and childcare costs while enrolling in the Transitional Compensation Program. To request assistance with the Safe Harbor Program please email Jessica Manfre, CGMA's case manager or call 571-438-9501. 
  • Coast Guard Legal Assistance - Coast Guard legal assistance attorneys provide advice and counsel regarding personal legal matters at no cost. Locate a legal assistance attorney.
  • Coast Guard Chaplains - Chaplains are invaluable resources. Call 1-855-USCG-CHC (872-4242) or connect with them online.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). This hotline can provide information regarding shelters, housing, counseling, job training, and legal assistance in your area. 

The Child help National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

In the News: