Arnold AFB SAPR office hosting events to highlight Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks
  • AEDC Public Affairs

The Arnold Air Force Base Sexual Assault Prevention Response office will host a number of events throughout April to bring attention to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Arnold team members are invited to participate in many of these events to show their support for sexual assault survivors and to help promote sexual assault prevention.

“As individuals, we can all make a difference, but think of the power we could have if an entire community mobilizes behind this call to action,” said Nicole Berger, Arnold AFB SAPR Sexual Assault Victim Advocate.

Each April is recognized Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month across the country by both civilian and military communities. The theme of the 2024 SAAPM Department of Defense campaign is “Step Forward. Prevent. Report. Advocate.”

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center worked to establish the first SAAPM in 2001, and it has occurred annually since. It was started to raise awareness about sexual assault and educate the public on ways to prevent it.

Events to occur at Arnold AFB, headquarters of Arnold Engineering Development Complex, will officially begin with the April 1 signing of a proclamation by AEDC Commander Col. Randel Gordon declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month at Arnold.

The first Tuesday in April is considered the SAAPM “Day of Action” which, this year, falls on April 2. The SAPR team will be out that morning to take part in a “gate wave” from 6:15-7 a.m. During this time, SAPR personnel will greet fellow Arnold team members as their arrive at the Main Gate to begin their shifts. From 7-7:45 a.m., the SAPR office will be joined by AEDC leadership, including Gordon, Deputy Director Kevin Muckerheide, Chief of Complex Support Sarah Beth Morgan, Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Master Sgt. Jennifer Cirricione, 804th Test Group Commander Col. Jason Vap and Test Support Division Chief Col. Eric Withrow. During that time, information and items to raise sexual assault prevention awareness, such as pens and teal ribbons, will be passed out to personnel as they enter the base.

Arnold team members are invited to visit the SAPR office during an open house event that will also take place on April 2 from 8-10:30 a.m. The office is located in Building 100 Room B109. Visitors can grab a cookie, speak with SAPR staff and sign their name on a proclamation that reads “I PROCLAIM TO STOMP OUT SEXUAL ASSAULT from our Force!”

“Sexual violence impacts one in three women and one in six men,” Berger said. “These numbers are staggering, and we owe it to survivors everywhere in our military and civilian communities to change these statistics. Together, we can advance our mission to provide a military culture where sexual assault and other negative behaviors are not tolerated, condoned or ignored, and alleged offenders are held appropriately accountable.”

Each Tuesday throughout the month of April is “Teal Tuesday,” and base personnel can show their support for survivors of sexual assault by wearing teal on Tuesdays throughout April.

The Arnold SAPR office will be holding weekly events to coincide with Teal Tuesday. Each Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon, Arnold staff are invited to join SAPR office staff and colleagues in an “I walk to prevent sexual assault” stroll along the AEDC Trail behind Building 100.

SAPR staff will also be on hand at various locations throughout April to provide information on their office and sexual assault prevention. The times and locations of these tabling events are as follows:

  • April 1 – 11 a.m. to noon – Arnold AFB Main Auditorium
  • April 3 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Café 100
  • April 8 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – in front of Building 1525 (Power Control)
  • April 9 – 9-11 a.m. – 804th Test Group meeting in Building 1099
  • April 9 – 1-3 p.m. – Arnold AFB Commissary
  • April 16 – 8:30-10 a.m. – Test Support Division office (3rd floor of Building 100)
  • April 16 – 2:30-4 p.m. – Café 100
  • April 17 – 10:30 a.m. to noon – Café 100
  • April 18 – 3-4 p.m. – Arnold AFB Fitness Center
  • April 23 – 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Café 100
  • April 25 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. – during blood drive in Building 100 Room A125
  • April 30 – 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Café 100

The SAPR office will also lead several community outreach events during April. One of this is a tabling event set for April 19 at 3 p.m. in the Arnold Village community. Office staff will again be on hand to provide items and information to visitors.

April 24 is “Denim Day.” Occurring on the last Wednesday in April, Denim Day is an annual campaign in which people are encouraged to wear denim to protest victim blaming and other misconceptions surrounding sexual assault and to further support sexual assault prevention and survivors. An “I walk to prevent sexual assault” walk will also take place on this date from 11-11:30 a.m. along the AEDC Trail.

The SAPR team encourages all Arnold personnel to join AEDC leadership on April 30 in a photo to commemorate SAAPM and support survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment. This group photo will take place at 10 a.m. on the steps in front of Building 100.

Arnold AFB SAPR Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Kayla Vance said she hopes the events throughout April serve to remind survivors they are not alone and that efforts at Arnold to support them will continue beyond SAAPM.

“We strive to make it a safer community for all this month and every month,” she said.