News: Team Seymour stands down during Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Story by Airman 1st Class Aaron Jenne
SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. - The 4th Fighter Wing held the first of its two Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (SAPR) Stand-down days this year, April 25, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is observed annually in April.
SAPR Stand-down day, an Air Force wide initiative, focuses on preventing sexual assaults, identifying and ensuring victims receive the help they need, said Bernadine Roy, 4th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator’s assistant.
The event was organized around three major elements: a commander’s call, small group discussions and a team building activity.
Members pledged with their signature to combat sexual assault before beginning a 2-mile walk. Team Seymour victims of sexual assault were positioned along the trail, making the issue more personal and real.
“Events like this are important because education is the key to prevention,” said Devin Powner, 4th Contracting Squadron contracting specialist. “The negative effects of sexual assault are wide-ranging and severe, and we can’t afford to make room for this kind of appalling behavior in our AF.”
The SAPR Stand-down Day was one of six events held during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
"We coordinated multiple events to reach as many people as possible,” Roy said. “We have the great responsibility of getting this information to the base. Sometimes people are more receptive to the information when they are having fun, so we’re always thinking of new ways to reach Airmen and their families."
Volunteers distributed items at the installation gates, Roy said, all with SARC contact information printed on them.
Additionally, more than 200 participants gathered for a SAPR Awareness 5K race and more than 62 golfers and 17 teams played in a golf tournament supporting the month.
The base theater also had two showings of “The Invisible War,” an investigative documentary about sexual assault within the military. The movie followed several young servicemen and women and their personal journeys, said Roy.
“I want to personally thank each of the volunteers who were crucial to the success of the multiple events during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the SAPR Stand-down Day,” Roy said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”
For more information about the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, contact the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator office at (919) 722-SARC.