An official army family and MWR Site

Army Community Service (ACS)


We deliver consistent and comprehensive prevention, life skills, response, and transition services through an integrated system tailored to foster the Army's commitment to maximize Soldier, Family, and Civilian adaptability and self-reliance.

Upcoming ACS Events

The Army Community Services invites the community to join us in our upcoming workshops and activities.

DECEMBER:

Baby Sign Language Course: December 08 (10am - 12pm)

DEALING WITH STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS WORKSHOP: (December 09) Two sessions: A) 10 am and B) 3 pm.

JANUARY:

Crossroads of Parenting & Divorce: (January 9, 11m 18, 23, 25) 4pm to 5pm

 

 

Army Volunteer Corps

The Army Volunteer Corps services all point of contact for volunteer opportunities and recognition at Fort Buchanan. 

We need volunteers for:

- Tax Center

- Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)

- Army Community Services (ACS)

- DoDEA Schools and many more

Contact: 787-707-3692 or register online at www.armyfamilywebportal.com

Army Emergency Relief (AER) Overview

Overview

Army Emergency Relief is the U.S. Army's own nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating financial distress on the force. AER provides grants and zero-interest loans to Active Duty and Retired Soldiers and their Families. Over 4 million Soldiers supported since 1942. AER officers are conveniently located at installations around the world. Visit ArmyEmergencyRelief.org to learn more.

Education Programs

AER’s Education Program is a secondary mission to help Army Families with the costs of education. The three separate scholarship programs are:

Stateside Spouse Education Assistance Program
• Applicant must be the Spouse or widow(er) of an active duty or retired Soldier and reside in the United States. 
• Stateside applicants must be full time students. 
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Active duty military personnel are not eligible.

Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependent Children.

Overseas Spouse Education Assistance Program 
• Applicants must be a Spouse of an active duty Soldier assigned in Europe, Korea, Japan, or Okinawa. 
• Applicants must physically reside with the Soldier at the assigned location. 
• First undergraduate degrees only.
• Off post students are not eligible.
• Spouses may be part time or full time students.

Major General James Ursano Scholarship Fund for Dependant Children 
• Dependent children, stepchildren, or legally adopted children of Army Soldiers on active duty, retired or deceased while in active duty or retired status.

The children of Grey Area Reservists/National Guard are eligible as well.

Scholarship awards will be awarded up to half the cost of tuition. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, as evidenced by income, assets, Family size, and special circumstances.

Applications and instructions are available for all the scholarships on the AER website at https://www.armyemergencyrelief.org/resources/

AER Resources and Forms

View all AER forms. 

Army Family Action Plan

The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) is your platform to voice quality-of-life issues, feedback, ideas, and suggestions. It’s the best way to let Army leadership know about what works, what doesn’t, and how you think problems can be resolved. We give Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, Army Civilians, Retirees, Survivors, and Family members a primary tool to help identify issues and concerns and shape your standards of living.

You can submit issues at your garrison’s Army Community Service office or to a unit Family Programs liaison. Army OneSource also facilitates AFAP issues online and makes sure your concerns get the attention they deserve. The information you submit gives Army leadership insight and helps foster a satisfied, informed, and resilient Army Community.

AFAP makes a meaningful difference. Since AFAP was created in 1983, over 698 issues have been submitted, resulting in 128 legislative changes, 186 Department of Defense or Army policy changes, and 210 improved programs or services.

Here’s a sample of AFAP results:  

  • Dedicated Special Needs Space in Child, Youth, and School Services (CYSS)
  • Distribution of Montgomery GI Bill benefits to dependents  
  • Annual Leave carryover increase from 60 to 75 days 
  • Extended educational benefits for Spouses
  • Dental and visual insurance coverage for Federal Employees
  • Medical Coverage for Activated Reserve Component Families
  • Military pay table (targeted pay raises) 
  • Military Thrift Savings Plan 
  • TRICARE for Life for eligible Retirees
  • Funding for Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (B.O.S.S.)
  • Active Duty Enlisted Soldier Compassionate Reassignment Stabilization
  • SGLI increases
  • Minimum standards for Army Child Care
  • In-state tuition for Military Dependents

To submit an issue or suggestion, go to your local Army Community Service office or Army OneSource.

Army family Team Building

Army Family Team Building (AFTB) empowers you, through self-development and leadership skills, basic Army knowledge and specialized training, to maximize your personal and professional potential. 

  • AFTB (Level I) Military Knowledge (K) Modules train basic information about the Army: You’ll learn about Army life and how to manage daily challenges by discovering how to decipher Army acronyms, use community resources, attain better financial readiness, and understand the goal and impact of the Army mission on daily life.
  • AFTB (Level II) Personal Growth and Resiliency (G) Modules train personal growth skills: Learn how to improve your personal relationships, communication and stress-management skills. Discover how teams form and grow, how to solve problems, and how to resolve personal conflict. You’ll also learn about Army traditions, customs, courtesies and protocol.
  • AFTB (Level III) Leadership Development (L) Modules train leadership skills: Thrive in the Army and civilian life by expanding leadership skills. You'll learn effective communication techniques and how to mentor others into leadership positions. You’ll understand the different leadership styles, how to run an effective meeting, manage group conflict, and how to be an effective coach. 

AFTB improves personal and family preparedness. It enhances overall Army readiness and the ability for America’s Army to adapt to a changing world.

For more information, contact your local Army Community Service Family Program office: at 787-707-3408 or Army OneSource.

Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)
Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) provides comprehensive support to family members with special needs. EFMP takes an all-inclusive approach to coordinate military and civilian community, educational, medical, housing, and personnel services to help Soldiers and their Families with special needs.

An Exceptional Family Member is a Family member with any physical, emotional, developmental, or intellectual disorder that requires special treatment, therapy, education, training, or counseling, and meets the eligibility criteria. 

Soldiers* with Exceptional Family Members are required to register for EFMP and keep enrollment information current. This way, Family needs will be considered during the OCONUS assignments process.

If you’re eligible for EFMP services, Family members must be screened and enrolled when they accompany authorized Soldiers on OCONUS assignments. Screenings include medical records review for all Family members and developmental screening for all children aged 72 months and younger.

For more information about EFMP, contact the EFMP point of contact through your nearest Army medical treatment facility.

*Who must enroll in the program?

      (1) Active Army

      (2) U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Soldiers in the Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program

      (3) Army National Guard (ARNG) AGR personnel serving under authority of 10 USC and 32 USC.

Department of the Army civilian employees do not enroll in the program.

You must identify dependent children with special education and medically related service needs and, Family members with medical needs each time they process for an assignment to a location outside the United States, where Family member travel is authorized at government expense.

For more information contact your local Fort Buchanan representative: 

Raymond Morales

Office: 787-707-3295

Email: raymond.morales.civ@mail.mil

 

The Employment Readiness Program (ERP) offers resources to help with your career plan and job search. Whether you’re a military spouse or Family member who just moved to a new installation, retiree, DoD Civilian looking for new opportunities, or active duty military, Active Reserve, National Guard member, or Wounded Warrior, we’re here to help.

 

Our services include:

  • Up-to-date information on local, national, and international employment opportunities, job market trends and education, and volunteer resources
  • Information on job fairs (in person and virtual) and other hiring events
  • Assistance with employment applications
  • Career counseling and individual career assessments
  • Résumé critiques
  • Classes and seminars on self-assessment and career exploration, resume writing, interviewing techniques, dressing for success, networking, and entrepreneurship
  • Information on spouse licensure reimbursement (re-licensing at a new duty station can be costly)

*Not all programs and classes are available at all ACS facilities.

Are you ready? Contact your Employment Readiness Program manager (ERPM) for more information.

 

Additional Resources:

(Government Links)

 

(Non-Government, No Endorsement Implied)

Virtual_Career_Library_Logo_300x57.jpg
Virtual Career Library

Get help with your job search or explore different careers online from any computer. Access over 6,000 digital pages of career guidance information. You'll find hundreds of career advice videos, digital career books and directories, virtual job data cards, job bank resources, and occupational videos to help you achieve career and life success. 

Note: First time users of the Virtual Career Library must click on the "First Time Registrant" link and complete and submit the access request form. Your account should then be accessible to you within one business day. From that point on, you can access the library with the username and password you created.

Financial Readiness

 

Overview

The Financial Readiness Program is your resource for information on money matters. We can help you better understand financial topics like: 

  • Military pay
  • Checkbook/debit card management
  • Financial responsibility
  • Credit reporting
  • Debt elimination strategies
  • Saving
  • Investing
  • Budgeting

For your local Fort Buchanan Financial Readiness Office, contact Edwin Pedre at:

Office: 787- 707-3310

Email: edwidg.pedre2.civ@mail.mil  

We can also help you learn about other financial services, including:

  • Army Emergency Relief (AER): A private, nonprofit organization established to help Soldiers and their Families in emergency financial situations due to no fault of their own.
  • Education Program: Offers need-based scholarships to help eligible Army Families with education costs.

For more information about how the Financial Readiness Program can help you, contact your nearest Army Community Service Center.

Other helpful financial readiness links include:

  • Thrift Savings Plan: A Federal Government-sponsored long-term retirement savings and investment plan, available for both Federal civilian employees and members of the uniformed services.
  • U.S. Savings Bonds: A shorter-term savings option with competitive interest rates and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
  • Military Saves: A component of the nonprofit America Saves and a partner in the Department of Defense’s Financial Readiness Campaign, Military Saves seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military Families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.
  • Money Matters: A mobile-optimized resource with calculators for savings, debt reduction and other reference material in one location.
  • Housing Resources for Military Members: The National Military Family Association has compiled a great list of resources to help Military Families who are struggling with the pitfalls of the housing crisis.
  • Army OneSource: Network of the services and delivery of support to Soldiers and their Families.
  • Military OneSource: A Department of Defense-funded program that provides comprehensive information on every aspect of military life at no cost to active duty, National Guard, reserve members, and their Families.
  • Office of Servicemember Affairs: A component of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau helps to educate and empower military members, veterans, and their Families in the consumer financial marketplace.
  • Saveandinvest.org: A project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, a free, unbiased resource dedicated to your financial health. Helps you make informed decisions through easy-to-use tools and resources, and arms you with the information you need to protect yourself from investment fraud.
  • Better Business Bureau Military Line: Provides specialized education and support services, which meet the needs of active and retired military personnel and their Families. 

Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA) Pre-screening

Pre-screening and counseling for Soldiers who qualify for the FSSA entitlement. FSSA is an entitlement authorized by Congress in 2001 and created to supplement the Soldier's Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS). This entitlement will not exceed $1100 per month. Information and application for FSSA is web-based and can be found under the "Life Events that Impact Your Benefits" tab.

Family Advocacy Program

 

The U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) helps Soldiers and their Families recognize and prepare for the unique challenges of military lifestyles. Our services include seminars, workshops, counseling, and intervention to help strengthen the relationships of Army Families.

We are also dedicated to the prevention domestic abuse, child abuse, and neglect of Soldiers and their Families through offering education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention, and treatment.

If you need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at +1 (800)799-7233. You should also contact your installation’s Family Advocacy Program for more information.

You may also contact your local Fort Buchanan Advocacy Program at 787-707-3709.

Victim Advocate Services 24/7 helpline: 787-221-7982

FAP Treatment at Rodriguez Army Health Clinic: 787-707-2050      

On-Call:  787-420-9316 

The U.S. Army Family Advocacy Program (FAP) helps Soldiers and their Families recognize and prepare for the unique challenges of military lifestyles. Our services include seminars, workshops, counseling, and intervention to help strengthen the relationships of Army Families.

We are also dedicated to the prevention domestic abuse, child abuse, and neglect of Soldiers and their Families through offering education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention, and treatment.

If you need help, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at +1 (800)799-7233. You should also contact your installation’s Family Advocacy Program for more information.

Master Resilience Training (MRT)

The Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) program was established by the Army to increase the resilience and performance of Soldiers, Family members and Department of the Army (DA) civilians. Contact your local Fort Buchanan representative:

Raymond Morales

Office: 787-707-3295

Email: raymond.morales.civ@mail.mil

Military and Family Life Counselor

MFLCs deliver face-to-face counseling services, briefings and presentations to the military community both on and off the installation.

Contact your local Fort Buchanan Representative:

787-685-3423 or 787- 685-3429

Mobilization and Deployment Readiness

The Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations (MDSSO) helps support community readiness during deployments and emergencies. We help make sure installation programs align with unit deployment cycles, provide pre- and post-deployment support, and help unit Commanders with their Family Readiness plans and deployment support services for Service Members and their Families. We’re responsible for operating an Emergency Family Assistance Center in the case of an all-hazards event, and supporting Service Members and Families during Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) and Repatriation. We also act as a case manager for all requests for assistance through the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS).

Some of our resources include:

  • Pre- and Post-Deployment Support: Helps prepare Soldiers and Families for deployments and reintegration by providing trainings and resources throughout the deployment cycle in a variety of settings.
  • Family Readiness GroupsDesigned to make sure Families have information they need and develop a military support group while their Soldier is deployed. Virtual Family Readiness Groups also provide secure environments in which the Commander can communicate directly with Soldiers and Families 24 hours a day, no matter where they are.
  • Emergency Family Assistance: Your link to continuous support and assistance as well as authoritative and accurate information in a sensitive, timely, and effective manner.
  • Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (ADPAAS): Ensures all Army personnel and their dependents are accounted for during emergency situations.
  • NEO/Repatriation: We help the State Department help those who have been displaced after national emergencies and disasters.

For more information on Mobilization, Deployment, and Support Stability Operations support in your community, contact your local Fort Buchanan representative at 787-707-3804.

Other helpful links:

  • Operation READY: “READY” stands for “Resources for Educating About Deployment and You.” It’s a training and information resource developed from lessons learned in the Persian Gulf War and used in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) / Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The training covers learning about the types of military separation, planning and preparing personal documents, and completing family financial arrangements.
  • Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2): Provides hands-on training and self-development tools so that members of the Army Family are better able to cope with adversity, perform better in stressful situations, and thrive in life.
  • Taking Care of Business: This video shares information that helps deploying Soldiers make necessary arrangements to ensure that loved ones will be taken care of if the worst happens. It explains which forms and documents to complete before deploying to ensure that final wishes are observed.

Building Strong and Resilient Military Families by Promoting Positive Parent-Child Relationships

The Army’s New Parent Support Program helps Soldiers and Family members who are expecting a child or have a child or children up to 3 years of age build strong, resilient military Families. Through a variety of supportive services including home visits, support groups, and parenting classes, the NPSP teaches ways to cope with stress, isolation, military transitions such as deployments and post-deployment reunions, and the everyday demands of parenthood. Please contact your Installation Army Community Service Center, Family Advocacy Program for more information and the opportunity to speak with an NPSP Staff Member.

 

NPSP Helpful Links

 

Parenting Resources

 

Parenting Organizations

 

NPSP: Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Who is eligible?

A: All Soldiers and Family members expecting a child or with children from birth to 3 years are eligible to participate free of charge in NPSP services. Also eligible are activated Reservists, Retirees, and their Families.

 

Q: Who are the NPSP staff?

A: The NPSP staff are licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) or registered nurses (RNs) who have extensive experience working with Families and young children and are sensitive to the unique challenges faced by military Families. Other staff members may include Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) who may also serve as home visitors and administrative support staff.

 

Q: What can the NPSP do for me?

A: The NPSP offers a variety of programs and services to support you and your Family in becoming and staying strong and resilient, including:

Home Visits: NPSP home visitors provide information and guidance regarding child development and answer questions related to your baby, young children, Family relationships and parenting techniques. Home visitors provide education on a variety of topics, such as infant sleeping, breastfeeding, nutrition, potty training, age-appropriate discipline, developmental screenings, sibling rivalry, stress management, deployment/reunion challenges, time management, parental self-care and other topics. Visits may be provided in the comfort of your home or in an NPSP office setting. Home visits may be scheduled at your convenience.

Playgroups:  Playgroups allow moms, dads, and their children to join other young children and their parents in a child-centered setting for a few hours each week for children to interact and learn through play. The activity also provides an opportunity for parents to network, learn and share experiences with each other and NPSP staff regarding the parenting of young children in a military environment. During the group setting, the NPSP staff may focus on nurturing activities, interpersonal skill building exercises, role modeling, and age-appropriate exercises that involve parents and their children. Playgroups may bring military Families with young children together, combating the isolation that many parents may feel. They are open to all military Families with young children at no cost.

Parenting Classes: NPSP offers scheduled parenting classes and support groups, which may differ by location, on a variety of topics, including child development, proper nutrition, well-baby care, Shaken Baby Syndrome, “The Period of Purple Crying,” safe infant sleeping awareness, Boot Camp for Dads, infant massage, post-partum depression, child and home safety, discipline, stress management, problem solving, decision making, parenting during military transitions, and blended Families.

 

Q: Are the services confidential?

A: Yes, information shared with NPSP home visitors is confidential. However, exceptions do exist to protect you, your children, and others’ safety. As licensed professionals, all NPSP home visitors have a duty to warn if they believe an individual may harm themselves or others. NPSP home visitors are also mandated reporters of child abuse. As such, they must report any suspicion of child abuse and/or neglect to the appropriate resources. During your first meeting with your NPSP home visitor, you are encouraged to discuss confidentiality, and these exceptions, with your home visitor.

 

Q: How do we enroll?

A: Please contact your installation Army Community Service (ACS), Family Advocacy Program, New Parent Support Program office to enroll in services today. You can also call Military OneSource for more information and referrals:

Click to see the New Parent Program Brochure.

Relocation Readiness Program

Moving is a part of life for Soldiers, civilian government employees and their Families. The Army Community Service Relocation Readiness Program is here to help with a comprehensive support system, whether it’s your first move or the last of many. We have all kinds of information and resources to help you and your family navigate your next military move.

Your first stop should be your local Army Community Service Family center to meet with a Relocation Readiness Program Manager who can get you started. 

787-707-3804.

SHARP

Sexual Harassment/Assault Resp. & Prev.

If you need help now:

Call the Ft. Buchanan SHARP 24/7 Hotline: 
+1 (787)-406-4222

You may also contact your local SHARP office at 787-707-3518 or via email: adelina.reynoso-acosta.civ@army.mil

For additional information regarding SHARP press here.

SHARP (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program)

The Armed Forces’ Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program is the Armed Forces’ integrated, proactive effort to end the crimes of sexual harassment and sexual assault within our ranks. Sexual harassment and sexual assault have no place in the Armed Forces. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault, you have a voice, you have rights, and we’re here to help.

 

The Armed Forces’ SHARP Program also:

  • Permeates the Armed Forces structure from the Pentagon down to the individual Soldier level.
  • Has full-time military and civilian staff at the brigade level and higher.
  • Promotes cultural change across the Armed Forces, with a vision toward a culture of dignity and respect in which Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members intervene in potential situations that could result in sexual harassment and sexual assault to protect one another.
  • Includes a comprehensive effort to educate leaders and Soldiers about sexual harassment and sexual assault.
  • Employs a concrete training program that teaches Soldiers and Civilians to be alert to serial offender tactics, to intervene to stop incidents and disrupt offenders, and where and how to seek help.
  • Provides commanders with the essential resources, education, and training they need to succeed in bringing an end to sexual harassment and sexual assault within their units and build a command culture in which these crimes are not tolerated.

 

We have certified Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) and Victim Advocates (VAs) available 24/7 to help with reporting, victim support, prevention, training, and awareness efforts.

For more information about SHARP, visit sexualassault.army.mil.

 

More Helpful Resources:

  • U.S. Armed Forces Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program
  • U.S. DoD Sexual Assault Prevention & Response
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: +1 (800)656-HOPE (4673) 
  • Center for Sex Offender Management 
  • Men Can Stop Rape +1(202) 265-6530
  • National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence (military resources) +1 (512)407-9020 
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center +1 (877)739-3895
  • Rape Abuse & Incest National Network +1 (800)656-4673 ext. 3 
  • Rape & Sexual Assault: Reporting to Police & Medical Attention, 1992-2000, Bureau of Justice Statistics, US DoJ
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Team
  • Sexual Assault State Coalitions
SNAP
Soldier and Family Assistance Center

The Soldier and Family Assistance Center (SFAC) is a one-stop location built to equip and aid Wounded, Ill, and Injured Soldiers who are assigned or attached to Warrior Transition Units. SFAC services help these Soldiers make life-changing decisions as they transition back to duty or on to civilian life. We strive to deliver tailored, compassionate, and coordinated transitional services designed to promote self-reliance, wellness, and healing during their medical recuperation and transition. The facilities provide a warm, relaxed environment where Soldiers and their Families can gather to foster physical, spiritual, and mental healing.

 

The SFAC coordinates and refers services like:

  • Information and Referral assistance: Provides reception services and general orientation.
  • Military Personnel Services: Help coordinate military records and information, as well as identification cards and records management, where available.
  • Entitlement and Benefits services: Help with education plans, benefits review, Family member education support, and other career-enhancing information.
  • Soldier for Life: A Transition Assistance Program that supports mandatory Transition requirements and services.
  • Financial Counseling: Provides credit management, budget development, consumer information and awareness, financial counseling and assistance. It also provides emergency financial assistance in the form of loans or grants, and monetary assistance for undergraduate education for dependent children.
  • Substance Abuse information and referral for Family members.
  • Coordination of Legal and Pastoral Services.
  • Help to find lodging resources for Family members.
  • Child Care Referral provides registration services for all Child, Youth, and School Services programs including Sports and Family Child Care (FCC) homes.
  • Coordination with Army Reserve, National Guard, and State and Local Agencies.

If you’d like more information or need help, contact an SFAC Representative.

Wounded, Ill, and Injured Soldiers and their Families expect and deserve the very best care and leadership from America’s Army.

 

The Victim Advocacy Program (VAP) provides emergency and follow-up support services to adult victims of domestic abuse. Advocacy services are available to Service members, their current or former spouses, an individual with whom the Service member shares a child, and significant others of Service members who live together. Our services are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Our trained professionals are here for crisis response, information on reporting options, medical treatment options, law enforcement’s response, emergency services, safety planning, obtaining military and civilian protective orders, and accompaniment to medical forensic exams and medical appointments, as well as accompaniment to court for orders of protection hearings and trials. Advocates work closely with their civilian counterparts and ensure a personal and smooth transition for victims who do not qualify for ongoing advocacy services within the military community.

If you need help or want more information, contact the Victim Advocacy Program Manager at your local Army Community Service Center.

Reporting Options

The Army is fully committed to ensuring victims of domestic abuse are protected; treated with dignity and respect; and provided support, advocacy and care. The Army strongly supports effective command awareness and prevention programs, and holding offenders accountable.

There are two types of reporting options: Restricted Reporting and Unrestricted Reporting. Personnel should report all suspected cases of domestic abuse promptly, which quickly activates victim services and accountability actions. However, we understand things might not always work that way. Victims might need medical attention or victim services without command or a law enforcement response. Therefore, the Army has implemented a Restricted Reporting Option for victims to confidentially disclose allegations of abuse and receive needed medical treatment and services.

Restricted Reporting

Allows someone who meets VAP criteria and who is experiencing violence in his/her relationship to confidentially disclose the abuse to a Victim Advocate, a Victim Advocate Supervisor, or a Healthcare Provider. When an individual chooses a restricted report, law enforcement is not involved and there is no investigation of the abuse. In addition, the Soldier’s Command is not notified of the abuse and is unable to offer assistance and protection.

The restricted reporting option allows an individual to receive medical treatment, advocacy services and clinical and pastoral counseling. This option allows one to receive needed services, control the release of his/her personal information, and time to consider his/her options.

Under this reporting option, the offender is not held accountable and the abuse may continue. If an assessment reveals a high risk for future injury, a restricted report may not be granted.

Unrestricted Reporting

Victims of domestic abuse who want to pursue an official investigation of an incident should report the abuse to law enforcement, or the alleged offender’s Commander. The unrestricted reporting option provides a victim with the widest array of services available including but not limited to command involvement, law enforcement involvement, medical treatment, advocacy services, and counseling services.

Not all incidents of domestic abuse are the same, and each person who experiences domestic abuse handles the situation differently.

Command Response

Commanders play an integral part in ensuring the safety, health, and well being of our Army Families. Commanders who learn of an incident of domestic abuse are required to notify law enforcement.

Victim’s Rights

  • The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for your dignity and privacy.
  • The right to be reasonably protected from the accused offender.
  • The right to be notified of court proceedings.
  • The right to be present at all public court proceedings related to the offense, unless the court determines that your testimony would be materially affected if you, as the victim, heard other testimony at trial.
  • The right to confer with the attorney for the government in the case; the right to available restitution; the right to information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the offender.

Safety Planning

A violent relationship puts you and your children at risk for injury and even death. Developing a safety plan tailored to meet the needs of your family will enable you get out of a potentially dangerous situation. If your children are old enough, mature enough, or even responsible enough to assist you during a violent or potentially violent episode of domestic abuse, you may consider including them in your plan to keep everyone safe. A good safety plan considers which steps to take if you choose to stay in the relationship or if you choose to leave.

Here are some tips during the explosive phase of domestic abuse:

  • Move to a room with easy access to an exit. Don't go to the kitchen, bathroom or near possible weapons.
  • Know the quickest route out of your home. Practice escaping that way.
  • Know the quickest route out of your workplace. Practice escaping that way. Domestic violence does not just occur in your home.
  • Pack a bag and have it ready. Keep it hidden but make it easy to grab quickly.
  • Tell your neighbors about your abuse and ask them to call the police when they hear a disturbance.
  • Have a code word to use with your kids, family and friends. They will know to call the police and get you help.
  • Know where you are going to go, if you ever have to leave.
  • Use your instincts.
  • You have the right to protect yourself and your children.

Develop a Safety Plan

Protection Orders

Military Protection Orders (MPO)
Unit Commanders may issue a Military Protective Order (MPO) to ensure the safety of service members, family members, and other individuals from the threat of domestic violence. An MPO is a written lawful order issued by a commander that orders a Soldier to avoid contact with his or her spouse or children. The commander should provide a written copy of the order within 24 hours of its issuance to the protected person, the Military Police and civilian law enforcement. An individual should report violations of the MPO to law enforcement.

Civilian Protection Orders (CPO)
A Civilian Order of Protection is an order signed by a Judge that directs an individual to stop abusing, stalking, harassing and/or committing acts of sexual violence against an individual. An individual may file a CPO against current or former spouse, someone that an individual shares a child in common, an individual with whom you have shared a residence with, someone related to you by blood or marriage or someone with whom you have dated or had intimate relations.

National Resources

  • United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women
  • National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Stalking Resource Center
  • Statewide directory for laws, courts, emergency shelters, orders of protection
  • Battered Women's Justice Project
  • The Family Violence Prevention Fund
  • Women's Justice Center– Also is Spanish
  • Mind, Body, Spirit Empowered - Materials translated into many languages
  • Marriage and Equality – Materials translated into many languages

Victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse have round-the-clock access to services, including emergency assistance, information, referrals, and ongoing support in accessing medical, behavioral health, legal, and law enforcement services on and off garrisons. Victim Advocates will discuss the option of restricted and unrestricted reports.

 

Domestic Violence Hotlines

 

All Army installations have a 24/7 Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Domestic Abuse Victim Advocacy Hotline. 

 

 

Domestic Abuse Victim Advocacy Program

Standing Against Abuse Together

 

The Army’s Domestic Abuse Victim Advocacy Program provides comprehensive assistance and support to victims of domestic abuse, including crisis intervention, risk assessment, safety planning, assistance securing medical treatment, information on legal rights and proceedings, and referrals to military and civilian shelters and other resources available to victims. Child advocacy services are provided to non-offending parent/guardians of children when directed by the FAP or by a judge.

 

What is a Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate (DAVA)?

Domestic Abuse Victim Advocates (DAVAs) are trained professionals who provide non-clinical advocacy services and support to Soldiers and Family members experiencing domestic abuse. DAVAs are on call 24/7 to provide immediate assistance, safety planning, non-judgmental support, and information on available resources.

 

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior resulting in emotional/psychological harm, economic control, and/or interference with personal liberty. The abuser could be a current or former spouse, someone you share a child with, or a current or former intimate partner you’ve shared a home with. Domestic abuse is a crime. So is violating a protective order. 

 

 

Domestic Abuse Victim Advocates can

  • Provide crisis intervention and support 24/7/365
  • Help file restricted and unrestricted reports
  • Talk with you about how safe you are and plan for emergencies
  • Give information on temporary financial support and other benefits to victims when the offender is separated from the military
  • Coordinate emergency services, including transportation, housing, and food
  • Assist in obtaining protective orders
  • Accompany you throughout the medical, investigative, and legal processes
  • Represent your interests through on-post processes
  • Offer information and referral to medical, legal, counseling, and other resources

 

How to Keep Yourself Safe

 

You can take steps to keep yourself and your children safe, and you can prepare to leave an abusive partner. Here are things to consider.

 

What Should I Do If I Am Thinking About Leaving My Abusive Partner?

 

Think about the following:

  • Several places you could go if you leave your home
  • People who might help you if possible, leave a bag of necessities at their house
  • Getting a cell phone
  • Opening a bank account/credit card in your name
  • How you might leave
  • How to take your children with you safely

 

Take the following items with you, if possible:

  • Children
  • Money
  • Keys to car, house, work
  • Extra clothes
  • Medicine
  • Important papers for you and your children
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social security cards
  • School and medical records
  • Checkbooks, credit cards
  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration
  • Welfare identification
  • Passports, green cards, work permits
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Mortgage payment book, unpaid bills
  • Insurance papers
  • Military Protective Order (MPO)/Civilian Protective Order (CPO), divorce papers, custody papers
  • Address book
  • Pictures, jewelry, sentimental items
  • Items for your children (toys, blankets, etc.)

 

How Can I Keep Myself Safe At Work?

  • Keep a copy of your MPO/CPO at work
  • Give a picture of the abuser to security and friends at work
  • Tell your supervisors – see if they can make it harder for the abuser to find you
  • Don’t go to lunch alone
  • Ask a security guard to walk you to your car or to the bus
  • If the abuser contacts you at work, save voicemails and e-mails

 

What Can I Do to Keep Myself Safe If I Have Left My Abuser?

  • Get a cell phone.
  • Get a MPO/CPO.  Keep a copy with you at all times.  Give a copy to the police, your children’s caregivers, schools, and your boss.
  • Change the locks.
  • Install a security system and outside lights.
  • Change your number to be unlisted.
  • Use an answering machine/voicemail to screen calls.
  • Tell friends and neighbors your abuser no longer lives with you.  Ask them to call the police if they see your abuser outside or near your home.
  • Tell someone at work what has happened.
  • Try not to use the same stores, banks, or businesses that you did when you were with your abuser.
  • Find a safe way to speak with your abuser, if necessary.
  • Take a self-defense course.
  • Go over your safety plan.
Local Contact Information

Army Community Service is here for you.  Please feel free to reach out to program managers directly.

Program Phone
Survivor Outreach Services

+1 (787)707-3292

Financial Readiness Program  +1 (787)707-3310
Army Emergency Relief  +1 (787)707-3310
Exceptional Family Member Program  +1 (787)707-3295
Army Volunteers Corps  +1 (787)707-3365
Employment Readiness +1 (787)707-3365
Family Advocacy Program +1 (787)707-3709
Army Family Team Building  +1 (787)707-3290
Army Family Action Plan  +1 (787)707-3290
Relocation Readiness Program +1 (787)707-3290 or +1 (787)707-3491
SHARP +1 (787)406-4222
Victim Advocacy

Military Police: +1 (787)707-3337; FAP Social Worker: +1 (787)707-2050, +1 (787)420-9316

Military & Family Life Counselors 

+1 (787)685-3423 or +1 (787)685-3429 or +1 (787)685-3431 or +1 (787)685-3425

More Community Support