SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Residents of Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) Bangor attended the 'Take Back the Night' event at the Chapel April 20.
The goal of the event was to raise awareness of sexual assault and unify the community by educating and inspiring the military and civilians aboard NBK to speak out against sexual violence.
'Take Back the Night' was started in the 70s and encouraged people to beat sexual violence by speaking out and speaking up against the violence through music and real life testimony.
"After a sexual assault you lose your sense of emotion," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Clarence Judd, attached to Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion, Bangor. "The best way to get that back is through something everyone can relate to, music."
"I did this because it's something that the entire base can relate to," said Judd. "I definitely think it's a stepping stone for the Navy to try something different. Everyone is having fun, and it's a great way to learn instead of the usual power point presentations."
The event featured local musicians who were eager to support the cause.
"It means a lot to me to perform at an event like this because almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by sexual assault," said Scarlet Parke, local musician.
In between songs Victim Advocates took the stage and read testimony from sexually assaulted members of the military.
"It's real emotional to hear these stories," said Master-at-Arms Seaman Keith Billingslea, attached to Marine Corps Security Forces Battalion, Bangor. "This is definitely an eye opening experience to know that it could happen to anyone, even me."
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.
Help raise awareness by joining the conversation on social media using #SAAM.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.