"Hurts one. Affects all." April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Commentary by: Maj. Catherine Germain
  • 131st Bomb Wing Executive Officer
Did you know 1 in 8 women have been raped? Or that 1 in 7 boys and 1 in 4 girls
will be sexually abused in their lifetime?

Take a moment to think of all the people you work with and everyone in your family. Whether you know of it or not, chances are that people you know have been sexually assaulted. And in some way, you and those around you, have been affected by sexual assault.

According to www.sapr.mil, the 2010 DoD Sexual Assault Awareness Campaign, "Hurts one. Affects All," will focus on the effects sexual assault has on the military's mission readiness and encourages everyone to establish a climate of confidence in which sexual assault and the attitudes that promote it are not tolerated, victims of sexual assault receive the care and support they need, and offenders are held accountable for their actions.

Here are a few tips to help you and your loved ones to not become part of these statistics:

- When you date someone, communicate clearly your limits from the

- Drink alcohol responsibly and always have a designated non-drinker in
your group

- Never drink a beverage you did not see poured or that was left
unattended (there are drugs that are clear and scentless)

- When you go to a party: go with a group, watch out for each other
and all leave together

If you, or someone you know or supervise, has been sexually assaulted, go to a safe location, preserve evidence of the assault, contact your Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Victims Advocate, or call Military One Source, and seek medical care as soon as possible. Also, if you or someone you know is sexually assaulted when deployed or TDY, contact the SARC or a VA. Every installation, even deployed locations, will advertise the local contact information or Hotline. If you are not on a military installation, you can contact Military One Source 24/7 for Restricted or Unrestricted Reporting, Local SARC or VA Points of Contact, and Established DoD Sexual Assault Services. Stateside that number is 1-800-342-9647.

For more information on what you can do to make a difference, visit www.myduty.mil.

The 131st Bomb Wing SARC is Maj. Cat Germain and our Victims Advocates are Chief Master Sgt. Vickie Rolape, Senior Master Sgt. Rich McCuskey, Master Sgt Troi Augustine, and Tech. Sgt Angie Smith. We are here to help!