MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
With headlights on and engines rumbling to signify breaking the silence of domestic violence, 73 motorcyclists rode from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s front gate to Marine and Family Programs’ building as part of the installation’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month Motorcycle Ride and Proclamation Signing Ceremony, Oct. 4.
The ceremony, which kicked off the base’s annual observance of domestic violence awareness month, featured the ride, a proclamation signing by the base’s commanding officer, Col. Don Davis, and remarks by the Dougherty County coroner, Emma Quimbley.
Davis thanked the base and local communities for attending the ceremony before reading and signing the proclamation.
“I think this is an extremely important topic,” Davis said. “Our families are our basic unit (of society) and domestic violence breaks down the basic unit. As we know, domestic violence results in a lot of things (with) the worst result being death.”
The commanding officer also presented Dougherty County Police Department Chief Don Cheek a lifetime achievement award for his 41 years of public service. Cheek participated in the motorcycle ride.
Quimbley emphasized it is important for people to know the signs of domestic violence.
“As coroner of Dougherty County, I have responded to numerous calls that could have been avoided had the victims known the signs and the warnings that went with domestic violence (and) caused his or her untimely deaths,” she said.
Quimbley recommended that community members notify authorities if they know someone is being abused.
“We all know that domestic violence does exist today,” she said. “It is one of the leading causes of death that we have in this nation.”
Domestic violence triggers down to the children, and because they have grown up in violent homes they are adults committing crimes and joining gangs, Quimbley noted.
“Children learn how to be abusers from growing up in violent homes,” she said. “We have children (who have) grown up in homes where that’s all they know.
“It has become an epidemic and these are the children our district attorney is dealing with now because they have become adults,” Quimbley added. “We have all heard it takes a village to raise a child. That still stands. If you are being abused, please remember you are not alone, it’s not your fault and help is available.”
Angel Radford, a member of the Albany-Dougherty County drug unit, drove her Harley during the base’s domestic violence awareness ride.
She hoped by participating in her second consecutive ride the community will become more aware and see the warnings of domestic violence.
“In the mid-90s, I was assigned to investigations and what I was assigned to do was domestic violence, so you see first-hand the results of domestic violence and how hard it is to convince a victim to get out of that situation,” Radford said. “There are more people than we realize (who) are involved in abusive relationships.”
October is Domestic Violence Month and the base observes it to help make its community more aware and prevent it, according to Brenda Ray, prevention and education coordinator, Marine and Family Programs.
“The intent of Domestic Violence Month is to make everyone aware that domestic violence continues to be a problem,” she said. “During this month, we rededicate ourselves to breaking the cycle of violence.
“Breaking the violence will require coordination and networking with many resources, clear reporting procedures, adequate police intervention, clinical assessment and treatment, safety, support and advocacy for the victim,” Ray added. “We all have the responsibility of ‘keeping our homes combat-free.’ We don’t want (Marines) to come home from war to a combat zone at home. Help is available.”
For more information about domestic violence awareness, call the Family Advocacy Program at 229-639-5252.