MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
More than 300
Marines and sailors attended the performance “Domestic Violence: The Musical” at
the Lasseter Theatre aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Sept. 29.
The show, produced
by the Fix the Hurt company, is a creative take on traditional military
training that uses dance and musical numbers to educate service members about
the causes and prevention methods of domestic violence.
“This is a play
that we have been presenting across America at different military
installations,” said Linda King, the founder and president of Fix the Hurt. “We
started performing domestic violence training in 2006 and we realized that the
performing arts are an effective way to raise awareness and really get the
attention of the people that need to hear our message.”
combined comedy, real-life situations, and audience participation to tell a
story of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship. The show offered a unique
and powerful way in which the actors portrayed their parts.
“It was an intense
performance these men and women displayed,” said Cmdr. William Holiman, the MCAS
Beaufort Chaplain. “I think it really got through to these Marines in ways that
other forms of education would not.”
laid out topics that are seldom discussed,such as the physiological reasons for
why victims tend to stay with their abusers and how criticizing a victims’
actions gives the abuser more power.
“One of the things
that we are very proud of is that we have outstanding actors who are able to
use their skills to communicate a message through lyrics and dance,” said King.
“They help people understand the escalation of domestic violence and that it
doesn’t necessarily start out with a hit or a punch. It is a slow steady
escalation of control and isolation. Those are the main things that you have to
watch for when helping a victim of domestic violence.”
domesticviolencestatistics.org, one in three women have been a victim of abuse
from a family member or loved one and it is the leading cause of injury to
females. However, domestic violence affects both men and women.
“Victims can be male or female. We don’t want
to ever give the message that all victims are women because that is just not
the case,” said King. “The majority of cases with male victims goes unrecorded
because they just do not want to report it.”
One of the goals
of Fix the Hurt is to help service members recognize the signs of domestic
violence and know what to do if a friend or co-worker is in trouble. At the end
of each performance there is a chance for the audience to speak up, share
stories and ask questions.
“The response has
been tremendous,” said King. “The audience members that speak out during our
question and answer session ask really important questions that help promote
prevention. One of our many goals is to get people to open up and initiate that
communication between their friends and their neighbors. We want viewers to
understand what is appropriate to say and what does not help the situation.”
The Marine Corps
is an organization that looks out for its own so it is important for new
Marines and their leadership to learn this information together. Every Marine
has a responsibility to watch for the signs and help those in need.
“I am encouraged
to see many senior Marines here today with the younger crew,” said Holiman. “It’s
important for everyone in the chain of command to understand and appreciate the
message presented. Domestic violence affects the Marine Corps and Navy in many
ways and the best way for leaders to look out for everyone is to be educated about
the warning signs.”
Violence: The Musical” has plans to continue touring the country and bring
their message to military communities.
“Last year, we did
18 performances in five weeks across seven states,” said King. “This year, we
will have about 15 performances across six states. We are just happy that the
military has latched on to this method of presenting domestic violence
awareness and education.”