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NEWS | April 4, 2018

SAAPM: Protecting people protects the mission

By Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Each year, April is recognized across the nation as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

This year’s theme, “Protecting our People Protects the Mission,” focuses on the role every service member plays in preventing sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior.

“In addition to the devastating impact on an individual, a sexual assault can severely impact a unit's readiness to perform its mission,” said Scottie Hampton, sexual assault victim advocate. “We can protect our mission by ensuring everyone within the Department of Defense is committed to advancing an environment where sexist behaviors, sexual harassment, hazing, bullying and sexual assault are not tolerated, condoned or ignored.”

According to the DoD and its partner, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, one in every six women and one in 33 men will be affected by sexual assault within their lifetime. 

At Joint Base Langley-Eustis, service members, civilian employees, retirees and dependents can participate in several events to highlight current efforts to care for victims and talk about new ways to infuse prevention practices into daily missions.

At Fort Eustis, events include:

-       “Putt for Sexual Assault Prevention” golf event, April 6 at 8 a.m. at Pines Golf Course.

-      Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and victim advocate seminar, April 11 at 7:30 a.m. at Wylie Theater.

-      Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Teal 5K fun run, April 13 at 6 a.m. outside Anderson Field House.

-      SHARP Strike Out Sexual Assault bowling tournament, April 20 at 12 p.m. at the Fort Eustis Bowling Center.

In addition, the SHARP office encourages everyone to attend the main event, the “Can I Kiss You” presentation at Jacobs Conference Center, April 25 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

“This event highlights safe dating practices, respect in relationships, how-to skills for teaching consent, andbystander intervention,” said Kevin Parker, JBLE SARC. “This will help us create an environment in which Soldiers (and Airmen!?) Service members?? trust their chain of command to maximize Soldier safety, emphasize force protection, and minimize high-risk environments within Fort Eustis and the Community.”

At Langley Air Force Base, the kick-off event features the Langley Sexual Assault Theater Group performing a short interactive skit at the Langley Base Theater April 13 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

“The cast will act out a scene demonstrating how sexist thoughts and behaviors lead to sexual harassment and assault,” said Hampton. “Cast members will remain in character and engage the audience, helping members with identifying how negative uncheck behaviors escalated to the point of harming a fellow wingman and the opportunities when a proactive bystander could have intervened and to prevent escalation.”

Other events include:

-      Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) motorcycle rally, April 27 at 9:30 a.m. at Memorial Park

-      Resiliency obstacle course, April 27 at 9 a.m. at Memorial Park


Participants are also invited to the Walk a Mile in her Shoes event, April 21 at 9:30 a.m. at Peninsula Town Center in Hampton.

For more information or to register for events, call the Langley SAPR office at 764-3359 or the Fort Eustis SHARP office at 501-7052.