Sexual Assault Awareness Month events promote an end to sexual violence

  • Published
  • By Kathleen Canfield
  • 779th Medical Support Squadron
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is recognized every April to raise awareness about sexual violence and help educate the community on how to reduce the risk of it occurring.

Leadership from the 79th Medical Wing and 779th Medical Group kicked off SAAM on April 1 by placing teal ribbons on an evergreen tree displayed in the cafeteria at Malcolm Grow Medical Clinics and Surgery Center. Teal is the official color of SAAM and each teal ribbon represents 100 military survivors of sexual assault DoD wide.

"A teal ribbon servec as a pledge of support for victims of sexual violence and a promise to help end sexual violence by addressing inappropriate behavior and treating others with dignity and respect," said Andrea Verdino, Joint Base Andrews, Sexual Response program manager.

Other SAAM events included a 5K "color with consent" run, held at the West side gymnasium, on Joint Base Andrews, on April 4, at 7:30 a.m. Participants were given the option to throw teal color powder on themselves during the run as well as run through designated color stations, in support of SAAM. Col. Bradley Hoagland, 11th Wing commander and CAPT. Scott Fuller, Naval Air Facility Washington commander closed the run with a proclamation dedicating the month of April to the prevention of sexual violence.

On April 14, at 2:30 p.m., members of the 79th Medical Wing will, again, sign their names on teal ribbons, at the Joint Base Andrews, Community Commons as a further pledge of support against sexual violence. The signed ribbons will be displayed throughout the Community Commons during the remainder of the month.

Display tables will be set up at the Army/Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), Commissary and Base Dining Facility throughout the month of April. Educational materials will be available and staff will be on hand to talk with the public regarding any concerns they may have regarding sexual assault awareness and prevention.

"Every service member has a role to play. We must work together to prevent sexual violence and intervene when we see something that doesn't look or seem right," said Verdino.

To speak with the Sexual Assault program manager call (301) 981-1443.  The Sexual Assault Hotline can be accessed at (301) 981-7272.