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Black Eye Campaign raises awareness of domestic violence

Phillip Calla, 325th Medical Support Squadron information technician, applies make-up to Staff. Sgt. Brittney Mendiola, 325 Civil Engineer Squadron base fire inspector, in preparation for the black eye campaign on Oct. 1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The black eye campaign was done to raise awareness of domestic violence awareness month. (U.S. Photo by Airman 1st Class Ty-Rico Lea)

Phillip Calla, 325th Medical Support Squadron information technician, applies make-up to Staff. Sgt. Brittney Mendiola, 325 Civil Engineer Squadron base fire inspector, in preparation for the black eye campaign on Oct. 1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. The black eye campaign was done to raise awareness of domestic violence awareness month. (U.S. Photo by Airman 1st Class Ty-Rico Lea)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 325th Medical Operations Squadron conducted the Black Eye Campaign Oct. 1 to increase domestic violence awareness to coincide with October being domestic violence awareness month.

All active duty members and DoD civilians, including contractors, are mandated by AFI 40-301 to report all suspected cases of intimate partner violence and child abuse to the Family Advocacy Program center.

Service members and civil service employees donned make-up to resemble bruises, black eyes and other injuries.

"As a male with a black eye I found that most people that approached me to ask what happened expected a funny story." said Capt. Andrew Curtis, 337th Air Control Squadron air battle manager. "However, if I ignored the obvious initial questions most individuals approached on a more personal level asking if I was alright."

The 325th Fighter Wing Family Advocacy office orchestrated the campaign as part of their outreach program.

"I have to say that I was disappointed in the individuals who did not inquire about my well-being even though it was just a painted injury," said Tammy Jankowski, Air Force Civil Engineer Center manpower equipment force packaging manager. "I now truly see the importance of inquiring as if it was a true injury."

Participants would go about their regular day of work and await a response from their co-workers or other people across the installation. Once a person acknowledged the supposed victim and inquired about the injury, the victim would then read a disclaimer explaining that the injury is a part of a social experiment increasing awareness.

"It's been really interesting to have people just look at you and have this puzzled look on their face," said Airman 1st Class Brittney Centers, 325th Security Forces Squadron security forces journeyman. "I remember having the same reaction when I saw a girl volunteering for the same campaign in previous years. I think it's a very uncomfortable thing to approach somebody and discuss even with those close to you."

Victims have the option of reporting such incidents.

"If individuals suspect that someone is in an abusive relationship, please contact the Family Advocacy Program for support," said Michelle Lasater, 325th Medical Operations Squadron family advocacy program outreach manager. "Our Victim Advocate is available and may be contacted by calling the 24/7 Crisis Help Line at 850-532-6162. The victim advocate may also be able to offer restricted reporting to adult victims of intimate partner violence, and can offer individualized services to active duty, DoD civilians and contractors."