JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
The Department of Defense recognizes April as Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month—one of numerous awareness months, but in my opinion, one of the most important.
The theme continues to be, “Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission.” As the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at Joint Base Charleston, I believe this theme truly signifies the importance of teaching behaviors that will aid in the elimination of sexual assault in our military. When sexual assault occurs, it not only affects the victim/survivor, but it also affects the immediate workplace, the unit and the mission.
This month, the JB Charleston Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Office has a variety of events and outreach efforts planned to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault and to encourage meaningful conversations on how to be an active bystander and a supportive wingman.
The Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Office is one agency that partners with the Community Action Team here at JB Charleston. The CAT is comprised of many helping agencies and community stakeholders who meet monthly to identify trends and develop initiatives to improve the overall well-being of Airman and their families. Together, these agencies are able to collectively gather data from their respective areas of expertise and provide feedback to JB Charleston leaders. The CAT has been working on the Community Action Plan with the goal of improving communication by raising awareness about resources that are available around the installation.
As a response agency, the SAPRO is dedicated to giving victims/survivors a safe place to report, ensuring they are aware of their rights and resources as it relates to sexual assault. In addition, the SAPRO does regular training and outreach around the installation to build stronger bystander intervention skills and knowledge around inappropriate behaviors that can lead to sexual assault. Topics include discussions on defining sexual assault, consent and knowing your role along the continuum of harm.
The Full Time Victim Advocate, Ms. Susie Griggs, works with the Volunteer Victim Advocates to ensure there is a 24/7 response capability to take reports and facilitate medical treatment when needed. The SAPRO’s priority is taking care of victims and when they are not doing they are reaching out to help prevent this crime from taking place.
For individuals who need to report a sexual assault, please call the 24/7 hotline at 843-963-7272. To reach the SARC or SAPR VA you can call 843-963-7880/7881 during normal business hours.