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NEWS | May 19, 2014

Navy commands donate to Lowcountry sexual assault organizations

By Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Capt. Timothy Sparks, Joint Base Charleston deputy commander, and Tiffany Mizzell, Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, presented the Medical University of South Carolina Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner department and People Against Rape, monetary donations and clothing May 16, 2014, onboard USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.

The money and clothing were donated by U.S. Navy commands on Joint Base Charleston during events sponsored by the Weapons Station's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program this past April. April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The SAPR program provides 24/7 support and response to victims of sexual assault in the armed forces and their dependents.

A check in the amount of $5,300 was donated to People Against Rape, the local rape crisis center for the Tri-County area. This money will be used to provide one year of 24-hour hotline phone service, in addition to the Victim Relief Fund which provides direct services to victims of sexual assault. These services include counseling, transportation, security (lock changing) and other resources victims might need.

"We are so excited to be receiving this donation," said Stacey Tunstill, People Against Rape executive director. "This money keeps our hotline running and we're going to be exploring our options in providing taxi service for individuals who need transportation for their follow-on care."

Another donation in the amount of $1,000 was donated to the Medical University of South Carolina Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner department to provide hot meals to victims after their forensic exam. In addition to monetary support, 300 items of new clothing were purchased and will be donated to MUSC to provide replacement clothing after a victim's sexual assault forensic exam.

Upon accepting the donation, Janet Ward, MUSC Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner said, "You have no idea what this means to us. When victims come to MUSC after an assault, we take everything ... all their clothes ... everything. Letting these victims pick out brand new clothing to go home in ... it makes such a big difference."

"I can't thank the Victims Advocates and service members on the Weapons Station enough for donating so much of their time to make this program such a success," Tiffany Mizzell said. "Their contributions allowed us to support agencies within our community who provide free services to not only civilians but to active-duty service members as well."

For more information on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, contact Tiffany Mizzell at 843-794-7428.