CHARLESTON, S.C. (NNS) -- Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a yearly reminder to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual violence, kicked off April 1.
This year's theme, "Hurts one, Affects all... Preventing sexual assault is everyone's duty," focuses on the effects of sexual assault on the military's mission readiness.
To help spread the message, several activities have been scheduled at Joint Base Charleston during the month.
Activities at the JB Charleston - Weapons Station:
-- A Sexual Assault Prevention and Response information table will be available every Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the JB Charleston - Weapons Station galley. The table will display T-shirts designed by victims of sexual assault.
-- Sex Signals is scheduled for April 18 at the Red Bank Club and Bowman Center. The Sex Signals Improv group will provide training on bystander intervention, sexual assault and sexual harassment awareness and the role alcohol plays in sexual assault. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. at the Red Bank Club and 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Bowman Center.
-- A 5K Road Rage is scheduled for 7 a.m., April 25 at Sam's Gym.
-- A kickball tournament is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Marrington Plantation. Teams must consist of 10 to 12 players. Contact Tiffany Mizzell at 764-7428 to sign up.
At JB Charleston - Air Base, Sexual Assault Victim Advocates will rotate with Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, visiting different squadrons and distributing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office informational items, during a Sqaudron Walk-Around.
At River Green on the College of Charleston campus, the local Rape Crisis Center, along with the College of Charleston, will host Take Back the Night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., April 12. Take Back the Night is a march and candlelight vigil that symbolizes the end of violence against men, women and children.
Lucy Rodriguez, 628th Air Base Wing SAPRO coordinator said, "3.4 percent of women and .5 percent of men were sexually assaulted during a 12-month period according to the 2010 Gallop Survey of the Air Force active-duty military. Nineteen percent of women and two percent of men were sexually assaulted while serving in the Air Force.
"Sexual assaults go against the core values of the Air Force and degrade mission effectiveness," Rodriguez continued.
Tiffany Mizzell, JB Charleston - Weapons Station SARC believes SAAM helps focus people on the issue.
"It's an opportunity to reach out to our Sailors and their families and provide them with information regarding the various services of our program," said Mizzell. "However, this is also a time to give a voice to those who have remained silent. Sexual assault is contrary to the Navy's core values, one incident is too many. Although SAAM places a focus on sexual assault during the month of April, prevention and awareness of sexual assault must continuously be enforced."
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.