HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, GA – The 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division began its observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month by setting up displays and hosting a group of Joint Experts to answer the soldier’s questions about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.
The Department of Defense observes SAAPM each April with a focus on eliminating sexual assaults in the ranks.
“SAAPM is an annual observance recognized by the civilian and military communities that raises awareness about sexual assault prevention,” said Sgt. 1st Class Celestina Dunn, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “We try to provide soldiers with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to intervene in a situation and prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault.”
The JCAP is one of the many ways the brigade observes the SAAPM. Soldiers are encouraged to attend the panel and ask any questions they have about the process.
“JCAP is a panel that includes the Savannah Police Department, Special Victims Council Services, Coastal Empire’s Mary’s Place Sexual Assault and Prevention Center, and the Medical Director and Program Manager of sexual assault from Winn’s Army Community Hospital,” Dunn said. “Soldiers here can ask questions about the process and the role of each organization in a sexual assault case. Soldiers don’t always see the whole process from start to finish, which gives them this idea. »
In addition to the JCAP, soldiers can participate in a virtual 5K run and the Clothesline Project.
“We’re running a virtual 5k run from April 18-22 and the top three times will receive a certificate of appreciation, a commander’s coin and a goody bag,” Dunn said. “We also have the clothesline project where soldiers will have the opportunity to write inspirational messages, or what SAAPM means to them on paper cutouts in the form of a t-shirt.”
Soldiers are also encouraged to wear teal items on April 12 for Teal Day.
“Teal is the official color of the SHARP program, so wearing teal shows your support for survivors and the sexual assault program,” Dunn said. “You can wear anything, it can be a bracelet or a pen, it doesn’t have to be big.”
In addition to Teal Day, soldiers are authorized to wear denim on April 27 for Denim Day.
“Denim Day is also a big part of SAAPM,” Dunn said. “A lot of people think that once you’ve given consent, that’s it, but you can give consent and change your mind at any time.”
Denim Day was born in 1997 in Italy when an 18-year-old girl was raped by her 45-year-old driving instructor. The Chief Justice of Italy’s Supreme Court issued a statement saying that because she was wearing tight jeans she should have helped him take them off, so consented. The women of the Italian Parliament were enraged by this statement and protested wearing jeans on the steps of the Italian Parliament building.
“Every April 27th we wear jeans because our clothes don’t give consent, we give consent,” Dunn explained.
This year’s theme of “Prevention Starts With You” comes as soldiers learn about changes to the SHARP program and how they can make a difference.
“It’s really important that everyone is aware of the changes so they can make informed decisions about what path might be right for them,” said 1st Lt. Aniko Austin, 3rd CAB’s casualty advocate at HQ and company headquarters. “One of the big changes is the reporting options. Previously, if someone confided in a friend or combat mate about an incident and that friend reported it to the chain of command or CID , that would have made it an unrestricted report. Now, with the changes, the individual can retain their reporting options whether their chain of command knows about it or not. Unless that person goes to the CID themselves or submits an unrestricted report, she retains her options.
Soldiers are not the only ones who can benefit from the help of the Army SHARP program. Family members over the age of 18 can file a complaint with a victim advocate.
“It’s not widely known that family members over the age of 18 can actually come and report to your SHARP team,” Dunn said. “Anyone under the age of 18 will come to the Family Advocacy Program, but if they are part of our training and need services, we will never turn them away. We will always provide care and guidance to the services they need.
For the 3rd CAB SHARP team, creating a positive environment where everyone can feel comfortable reporting is their top priority.
“Creating a positive and safe environment for people to feel like they can report, and someone is going to believe them is important,” said Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mack, the 3rd attorney for CAB victims. “We have a very good team here and I think we provide the safest space possible.”
Anyone with questions or concerns about SHARP is encouraged to call the 3rd CAB SHARP Helpline (912) 255-2163 or the 3rd ID SHARP Helpline (912) 271-9958.
|Date posted:||04.06.2022 14:32|
|Location:||HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Georgia, USA|
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