JONT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
Service members stationed at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., held the fourth bi-annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response kickball tournament April 11, 2015 at Locklear Park in Goose Creek to highlight April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
Thirty-five teams with 420 participants competed in the bracketed matchup to raise awareness and increase discussions about sexual assault prevention.
"Sexual assault prevention and awareness is so important not only in April but throughout the year because we all have a duty to help eliminate this horrific crime that impacts all of us," said Tiffany Mizzell, JB Charleston Weapons Station Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. "By raising awareness we hope that individuals who feel silenced will be encouraged to share their story, so we can help them in the healing process."
Commands at JB Charleston are scheduled to hold several SAAPM events throughout April, including a volleyball tournament, dodge ball tournament, color run, information booths, a clothing drive with proceeds benefiting Medical University of South Carolina and t-shirt sales with proceeds benefiting People Against Rape.
"[Sexual assault] is such an important topic, and these events are really a fantastic way to get people talking about a topic that may be difficult for some to approach otherwise," said Master Chief Electronics Technician Ronald Nagy, Naval Nuclear Power Training Command command master chief.
In addition to focusing needed attention on sexual assault, service members appreciate SAAPM as a way to bond with their chain of command outside of their normal classroom or work center environment. New recruits get a chance to team up with chiefs and officers reaching for a common goal.
"Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month gives us all the opportunity to be educated in sexual assault awareness and be unified in our support of survivors" said Mizzell.
"It was really fun seeing our seniors outside the role we normally see them in," said Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Aaron Nuttle, NNPTC Student. "We got to play with the NNPTC CMC which was really fun; it's just really cool to see everyone outside of the schoolhouse - to see them as real people."
Twelve SAPR staff and Command Victim Advocates volunteered during the event by selling SAPR merchandise, coordinating teams and manning information tables where service members were able to ask questions in a casual setting.
"It's important that everyone sees our faces - to know that we're here and what we look like," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Amanda Abrams, SAPR VA. "It shows how committed their command is, how committed their installation is and, especially, how committed their peers are to reducing the number of sexual assaults among us."
For more information regarding the SAPR program or to find out how you can help fight sexual assault, contact the Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station 24-hour SAPR hotline at 843-478-8615 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SAPRJBCWS