News: 2nd Infantry Division proclaims dedication to preventing sexual assault
Story by Capt. Kelly Pickett
CAMP CASEY, South Korea – Senior leaders with the 2nd Infantry Division signed a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month at the Warrior’s Club on Camp Casey, South Korea, April 3, 2013.
Brig. Gen. J.B. Burton, 2nd Infantry Division deputy commanding general for maneuver, and Col. John M. Scott, the Area I installation management commander, signed the proclamation to recognize and recommit to support the Army’s effort to eradicate sexual assault from its ranks.
“We want to achieve an understanding that this is about dignity and respect. It’s really about taking care of each other, respecting one another, regardless of who we are or where we come from,” said Burton.
The event demonstrate the Army’s commitment to the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program and strengthen the readiness of 2nd Infantry Division soldiers to fight tonight to deter aggression against the Republic of Korea.
“We join with our Army and the nation to increase our understanding and energize everyone in the prevention and elimination of sexual assault and sexual harassment,” said Burton. “The challenge is ours, we own it and we’ll solve it together.”
During the ceremony, leaders also recognized the division’s sexual assault response coordinators and victim advocates from 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 210th Fires Brigade for the care they provided to victims.
These specially certified noncommissioned officers are trained to provide assistance to victims of sexual assault from the initial report until the victim no longer requires assistance.
Sgt. 1st Class Sarah Du Brall, victim advocate for 1st ABCT, emphasized the importance events which reach out to soldiers.
“Having leadership support like this helps push out the word and get everybody involved and educated on what kind of services we provide, so they know what to do and who to go to for assistance,” said Du Brall.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Proclamation
This month, our Army commemorates National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and reaffirms our commitment to eradicate sexual harassment and sexual assault from our ranks and our Army communities.
The Department of Defense observes the ninth annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month with the theme "We own it. We'll solve it. Together." which is an affirmation that we understand the prevention of sexual assault requires sustained vigilance and a steadfast team effort. Unprecedented senior leader commitment must be matched throughout the Area I community with a personal commitment from every service member, Department of the Army civilian employee, family member, and contractor to treat each other with dignity and respect. We must collectively create a climate that does not tolerate, condone, or ignore sexist behavior, sexual harassment, or sexual assault.
The service chiefs have made it clear that commanders are responsible for the readiness of their unit and the health and welfare of their service members. The active role of commanders, leaders, and service members at every level is critical. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an excellent opportunity for every command team to reinforce the importance of bystander intervention to help stop unsafe behavior, to engage their soldiers in a discussion of the importance of supporting sexual assault victims, and to underscore the importance of each soldier's personal commitment to creating an environment free from sexist behavior, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is recognized across the country and in overseas locations throughout the world by both civilian and military communities and offers a unique opportunity for us all to build on existing momentum to fight this crime and ensure all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.
Therefore, in keeping with the Army's "I. A.M. Strong" campaign join advocates and communities across our formations in playing an active role to prevent sexual violence. Along with the Department of Defense and Department of the Army senior leaders, I do hereby proclaim the month of April "Sexual Assault Awareness Month!"