Story Number: NNS180413-11Release Date: 4/13/2018 1:01:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Travis DiPerna, Operational Test and Evaluation Force Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Members of Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR) participate in a "Walk a Mile in Their Shoes" event to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAPRM) at OPTEVFOR headquarters, April 13.

This year's Department of Defense and Navy theme is "Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission" and the call to action is "Raise Your Voice for Prevention."

With the call to action, the Navy is aiming shift the campaign from awareness to prevention. Awareness generally focuses on education and programming, while prevention concentrates on building skills and changing behaviors to stop sexual assault before it happens.

"During the walk and trainings, people receive a lot of statistics that they weren't aware of and just knowing the frequency of this issue helps people to step up when they see something that isn't right," said Yeoman 2nd Class Brianna Johnson, a SAPR victim advocate.

The walk is also designed to raise awareness of the available programs and support that the Navy and OPTEVFOR have to offer such as the Safe Helpline, medical programs, and victim advocates.

Victim advocates can help walk the Sailor through steps from getting medical attention to seeking legal counsel.

Yeoman 1st Class Danisha Johnson has been a SAPR victim advocate for four years. She would like victims to know that they are not alone in their time of need.

"You are a survivor", said Johnson. "Coming forward is often the most difficult step in seeking help and we understand that. We are here for you no matter the time, day or place."

If you are in the military and have been a victim of sexual assault, call the Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247.

For more news from Operational Test and Evaluation Force, visit www.navy.mil/local/COTF/.

For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.

For more news from Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force, visit www.navy.mil/local/COTF/.

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