Black Eye Campaign highlights hidden hurt

  • Published
  • By By 1st Lt. Erika Washington
  • 1st Special Operations Medical Operations Squadron

What would you do if you saw someone standing in line in front of you at the commissary or the headquarters building with a black eye or bruises around their neck? 

What would you do if a co-worker or supervisor arrived at work complaining of pain or acting distant?

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Hurlburt Field Family Advocacy Program held its annual Black Eye Campaign on Thursday, 23 Oct.

The purpose of the campaign was to increase public awareness of the impact of Intimate Partner Violence and to uncover the hidden hurt that may be behind that black eye or bruise.

Four females and one male volunteered as simulated victims of IPV for the campaign. 

The volunteers received makeovers by moulage artists from 1st Special Operations Medical Group, who painted black eyes and bruises on them.  They then went about their workday to see who would approach them and ask about their injuries.  Each volunteer spent an hour traveling about the base to various places including the commissary, post office, military personnel flight, smoke pits, fitness centers and the library.

Hurlburt’s Family Advocacy Program urges everyone – victims, family members, community members, wingmen, and leadership – to be vigilant, speak up, and make an impact. 

Interpersonal violence breeds on secrecy, embarrassment, and fear.  Therefore, if you suspect that someone may be hurt or at risk for harm, make it your responsibility to; approach him or her directly and with respect; ask if he or she is safe at home or in their relationship; and connect him or her with the appropriate person or agency that can intervene.

“Commandos should neither be victims or offenders of IPV,” said Maj. Sundonia Wonnum, 1st SOMDG family advocacy officer. “Do not accept IPV within our community or an attitude of indifference within our culture.”

For more information about domestic violence, or to report a concern, call Family Advocacy at (850)881-5061.

Other resources are:

Fort Walton Beach Shelter House -850-243-1201 or their 24/7 hotline 850-863-4777.

Okaloosa Sheriff’s Department – 850-651-7400

Airman & Family Readiness – 850-884-5441