Team Robins set to kick off sexual assault awareness campaign

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs
"Know your part. Do your part." It's this year's Sexual Assault Aware-ness Month theme.

Robins' Sexual Assault Response Coordinator team will host several events in April to educate people about their role in preventing sexual assault and understanding how to help sexual assault survivors in their recovery.

Cindy Graver, an installation SARC, said the awareness month offers an opportunity to recognize and celebrate survivors of sexual assault trauma and to speak loudly and clearly to future would-be offenders.

"Sexual assault will stop," she said. "If found guilty, offenders will be held accountable and punished. Victims will no longer be held responsible for their assaults, but will receive support and encouragement as they begin their life-long journey of recovery to their 'new normal' lives."

Sexual assault knows no socio-economic boundaries. It happens to men and women, the rich and the poor, and people of every nationality.  

"We have the greatest people in the world in our Air Force and at Robins," Graver said. "Sexual assault awareness is very simple. Do the right thing. Know your part. Do your part."

Jayne Bishop, a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response victim advocate, said many people don't view sexual assault for what it is.

"It's violence, and in raising awareness maybe people will realize that this crime can have just as much impact or trauma on a victim or survivor as other crimes," she said.

Lisa Matney, also a base SARC, said the Air Force has resources for both military and civilian sexual assault survivors.

There are more than 110 SARCs, 70 victim advocates and 30 special victims' counselors available to help sexual assault victims.  

Graver said the majority of airmen won't commit sexual assault or be victims of sexual assault. But in the Air Force it's a problem, and it affects all airmen if one person is sexually assaulted.

"Leadership doesn't require rank or position," she said. "Any airman can and should take action to lead their peers and set an example for compassionate and professional support for victims of sexual assault."

Robins will host several events to bring about sexual assault awareness.

One event will be its Clothesline of Courage.

Bishop said the Clothesline of Courage is an outlet for anyone affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt.

"The shirts will be hung on a "clothesline" to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence," she said. "Team Robins' Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program invites victims, family, friends of victims, or anyone who has been touched by sexual violence to create a shirt to express themselves or tell their story." 

The shirts are displayed in various locations across the base during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

"This is a great tool of expression for survivors and their support systems," Bishop said.  

To learn more about Robins' events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, visit Robins SARC's Facebook page or Robins' Splash Page.