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Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month

  • Published
  • By Airman Synsere Howard
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month established to raise public awareness and educate communities about preventing sexual violence. This year’s theme is ‘STEP FORWARD. Prevent. Report. Advocate’.

Striving to advance a military culture free from sexual assault, the Defense Health Agency prioritizes sexual assault awareness and prevention efforts. The initiative was taken to encourage military personnel to report incidents of sexual assault and provide resources to help address the trauma associated with such incidents.

“The first goal of SAAPM is awareness,” said Chelsie Willson, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response victim advocate. “We want to place a spotlight on the importance of education and prevention and focus on creating a culture that eliminates sexual violence.”

The history of Sexual Assault Awareness Month dates to the 1970s when a group of advocates and activists came together to shed light on the issue of sexual assault in the United States. They organized protests along with rallies, and as a result created a movement aimed to end sexual violence. The month has become an avenue for different groups and communities to come together and address the issue of sexual assault and its impact on people.

SAAPM gives survivors of sexual assault a way to find support, seek help and access resources that can assist them in their recovery process. SAAPM has created a safe space for survivors to speak out against sexual assault and advocate for their rights. This has been instrumental in promoting consent and healthy relationships, as well as educating individuals and communities on sexual violence prevention. 

“SAAPM is a call to action for individuals at all levels to make a personal commitment to bolster prevention and promote advocacy for a safer DoD community,” said Willson. “If you are a victim of sexual assault, whether it was from your childhood, your last duty station, or recently, there is not a statute of limitation on how we can help you.”

The SAPR office is always willing to assist and offers privileged communication with an advocate with or without making a report. You can reach a SARC at 632-7272 (SARC) or 0434-307272. The SAPR office also accepts walk-ins and is located on the 1st floor of the Mensa Building 1467. To reach the Safe Helpline which offers confidential support, live 1-on-1 help and worldwide 24/7 access visit, or call 877-995-5247.