25 April 2016

The Fort Detrick community gathered at the Fort Detrick Auditorium April 5 for the Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month kickoff event hosted by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, 21st Signal Brigade and the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention programs.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Kicks Off At Fort Detrick
Nick Minecci, USAG Public Affairs
The Fort Detrick community gathered at the Fort Detrick Auditorium April 5 for the Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month kickoff event hosted by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, 21st Signal Brigade and the U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention programs. SAAPM’s purpose is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it. The theme of the 2016 campaign is, “Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part.”

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is recognized across the country by both civilian and military communities; offering an opportunity to build on existing momentum to eliminate this crime, while also ensuring all Service Members are treated with dignity and respect.

During the ceremony, Ella Wynn, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Detrick Sexual Assault Response coordinator, and Jennifer Benson from the USAG Public Affairs Office performed two songs highlighting the strength and warrior spirit sexual assault survivors have.

“I received many comments from the attendees who thought the event was well put together. Everyone seemed to enjoy the presentations by Ella Wynn and Jennifer Benson,” said Mark. B. Minter, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command SHARP program manager and Sexual Assault Response coordinator.

Guest speaker for the kickoff event was Ben Atherton-Zeman, a public speaker and comedic performer who travels around the world working as a prevention educator for rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs and state coalitions. He is also an advisory board member for the White Ribbon Campaign in the United Kingdom and blogs for Ms. Magazine.

During his presentation, Atherton-Zeman showed clips from the film “Rocky” to the crowd; highlighting the number of times Rocky Balboa asked his girlfriend Adrianne into his apartment and to sit with him on the couch, and the number of times she said no.

“I believe sexual assault and sexual harassment has no place in today’s society, and that message was clear but, what made it resonate even more was Atherton-Zeman’s presentation,” said Minter. “He did a wonderful job by adding a little humor, and I think it really made us think about speaking up and being motived.”

The goals of the SAAPM campaign are for everyone to make a personal commitment to:

- Eliminate Sexual Assault. Every person working for the DOD, at every level in the military, must know, understand and adhere to service values and standards of behavior to eliminate sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior.

- Know Your Part. Each member of the DOD community has a unique role in preventing and responding to sexual assault. Everyone must recognize their part in stopping this crime, starting with our own awareness and knowing when and where to intervene.

- Do Your Part. Individuals have a responsibility to act. If you see a crime, or witness inappropriate behavior unfolding, you need to step in to prevent it.

As part of the month-long activities, the following events will be taking place on Fort Detrick:

- SHARP awareness booths will be set up April 18, 20 and 22 at the Post Exchange from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and April 19 and 21 at the Commissary from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

- There will be a 3K Walk/Run April 28 at 11:30 a.m. at the Fort Detrick Track (behind the Odom Physical Fitness Center).
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