Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) is recognized in April by both civilian and military communities. The Department of Defense observes SAAPM by focusing on creating the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault and requiring a personal commitment from all Service members at every level. We all have a part in combating sexual assault and SAAPM offers an excellent opportunity to focus attention on our individual roles. We all have a role in preventing sexual assault and localizing SAAPM activities is a great way to extend this message.

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

It’s a crime that touches everyone in one way or another.

It’s sexual assault.

The Department of Defense defines Sexual Assault as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, or abuse of authority, or when the victim does not or cannot consent. 

“Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes in America today and it can leave its victims with psychological and emotional scars for lifetime,” said Michael Montgomery, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Robins Air Force Base.

The term includes a broad category of sexual offenses consisting of the following specific military judicial system offenses:  rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy (forced oral or anal sex), or attempts to commit any of these acts. 

“Simply put it’s an act in which one person sexually touches another without that person’s consent or forces them to engage in a sexual act against their will by physical force, intimidation, threat or abuse of their authority,” Montgomery said.

Throughout April, Robins will educate its community about sexual assault and focus on its prevention through events like the Traveling Clothesline of Courage displayed at various locations around the base.

“The TCC is a silent exhibit of self-expression of the violence which plagues our community,” Montgomery said. “T-shirts created by survivors and others affected by sexual assault will be displayed on a clothes lines as a testament to the problem of sexual violence in our community.”

Anyone interested in sponsoring a location or creating a t-shirt for the TCC can contact the SAPR office at 478-327-7272.

Additionally, the SAPR office is asking everyone to wear teal throughout April to show their support for survivors of and promote awareness of sexual assault. The 78th Force Support Squadron has agreed to give special discounts to its customers wearing teal. Discounts vary at locations.

On April 6, Robins will host a 5K Superhero Run.

“Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite superhero costume in support of ending interpersonal violence,” Montgomery said. “You don’t need super powers to be a super hero, you just need the courage to step up and speak out.”

The run will begin at 9:30 a.m. and registration is not required. Check in is at Warrior Field across from main gym.

Self-Defense Classes will be conducted on April 7th and 24th at 9 a.m. in the Main Gym and April 10th and 17th at 4:30 p.m. in Bldg. 301, Fitness Center Annex.  For more information, call the SAPR office at 478-327-7272. 

April 16th through 18th Robins SAPR Office will host a Kick the Silence Kickball Tournament at the Base Softball Fields.

Tentatively games are scheduled to start at 3:15, 4:15 and 5:15 p.m. Teams are limited to 12 players each with a minimum of three female players per team. Game length will be five innings or a maximum of 45 minutes. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies will be awarded. 

These are just a few of the events Robins has planned to bring sexual assault awareness to the forefront of people’s minds.

“Awareness of sexual assault is very important because sexual assault impacts everyone,” Montgomery said.  “It does not discriminate, men, women and even children of any age or color can be victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault also does not stop at the gate, not only can it happen to anyone it can also happen at anytime and anywhere.

“The more we know about sexual assault and the impact that it has on us and our community, the easier is to talk about it and the ability to talk about it is the first step in helping creating a proactive culture that recognizes the signs of sexual assault and takes the steps to prevent it,” Montgomery said.

For more information on April’s sexual assault awareness activities, call 478-327-7272.