NEWS | April 16, 2018

Team Charleston kicks-off SAAPM with SAPR color run

By Airman 1st Class Allison Payne Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Team Charleston held a Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention and Response color run to kick-off SAPR awareness month March 30, 2018, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. SAPR is a U.S. military training program designated to educate service members and to provide support and treatment for their families who have experienced sexual assault.

SAAPM is recognized in April by both military and civilian communities. According to the Air Force SAPR program, the day-to-day mission of the SAPR office is to educate, advocate and collaborate to respond to and stop sexual assault and its harmful effects on the military.

“This run was a really great way to boost morale,” said Airman 1st Class Matthew Zakrzewski, 1st Combat Camera Squadron combat broadcaster. “At the end of the race everyone was smiling and laughing and comparing how much color they caught. I think it was a great way to spread the SAPR message. I was a teal rope in technical training school, which means I was the one people would come to if they were having SAPR related issues, so SAPR is really important to me. Everybody needs someone they can lean on.”

The SAPR color run doubled as a morale event and a chance for attendees to hear about the SAPR message from leadership. More than 150 people participated in the run and left the event covered in different colors.

“It’s up to us as members of this team to eliminate these crimes from our military,” said Col. Patrick Winstead, 437th Airlift Wing vice commander. “Whether you’re a service member, government civilian, spouse or dependent, you’re still a part of making this mission possible. Always look out for one another. If you see something, say something. This crime has no business in our military.”

The SAPR office here plans to spend the remainder of SAAPM spreading their message through squadron visits, club events and an informational booth at the 2018 Air and Space Expo. The 2018 theme for this year's campaign is "Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission."

"Although April is SAPR awareness month, the message we’ve been trying to spread from SAPR headquarters is ‘not just April’,” said Mamie Futrell, 628th Air Base Wing SAPR manager. “We want everyone to understand we’re always available and here for them."

Futrell emphasized the importance of everyone knowing the resources available through the program.

"There may be somebody who needs you to know this information for them," said Futrell. "Most of the time when survivors come forward and make a report, they don’t come to me first -- they go to a friend or colleague. It’s important for everybody to have this knowledge, because you never know when you’re going to get the opportunity to be trusted with this kind of information. I encourage everyone to always take it seriously and to be there for each other.”

To make a report or speak to a SAPR representative, individuals can call 843-963-7880, or email the SAPR organization box at 628.sarc.org@us.af.mil. For emergencies, the 24-hour hotline can be reached at 843-963-7272.