NEWS | May 1, 2013

NNPTC spikes out sexual assault

By Seaman Jason Pastrick Naval Nuclear Power Training Command Public Affairs

The Naval Nuclear Power Training Command hosted "Spike Out Sexual Assault," a volleyball tournament to raise awareness of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month April 26, 2013, at Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station, S.C.

Thirty-six teams from three commands, including Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic and NNPTC participated in the five-hour, elimination-style tournament to increase discussion about sexual assault prevention and reporting.

"We held the event to get people out of the classroom and to exercise; to get them to talk and think about sexual assault," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Brad Baldwin, a machinist's mate assigned to NNPTC and SAPR victim advocate and tournament coordinator. "The goal was to raise awareness."

In addition to raising awareness among service members, the event raised money and supplies for the Medical University of South Carolina and People Against Rape, local organizations committed to assisting victims of rape and sexual assault. Volunteers manned a merchandise table with teal ribbons, magnets and shirts in support of SAAPM.

"The turnout was incredible," said Tiffany Mizzell, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for JB Charleston - Weapons Station. "I hope participants walk away with a greater awareness of the impact sexual assault has on victims and their families.

"Just by participating, they showed their support for survivors in our community," said Mizzell.

Providing service members with a fun, alcohol-free Friday night was a major goal for the event as well, according to Lt j.g. Amy Ellison, NNPTC SAPR lead SAPR trainer for the command.

"Alcohol is involved in more than 80 percent of all sexual assaults," said Ellison.

Even though SAAPM is now over, NNPTC staff and students can look forward to future SAPR events. The command is slated to hold a kickball tournament as well as a 5K run in the future.

With nearly 1,000 participants at this year's SAAPM 5K and 34 teams at the command's last kickball tournament, Baldwin said he expects a similar turnout at the upcoming events.

"We want students to have fun," said Baldwin. "Awareness through physical activity is our goal."

Students are encouraged to not only participate in SAPR events, but to volunteer their time as well.

"Students don't have to be part of the SAPR team to be involved," said Baldwin. "Come out and help where you can."