News: MCAS Yuma receives quilt for support of sexual assault awareness and prevention
Story by Lance Cpl. Reba James
YUMA, Ariz. - Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program received a donation of a handmade quilt in honor of their dedicated effort to educate service members aboard MCAS Yuma about sexual assault awareness and prevention. The handmade quilt was donated by Sande Smith, a local resident of Yuma, Ariz., to the SAPR program during the inaugural “Take a Stand” Motorcycle Ride, held in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April 30.
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma’s SAPR program was involved in coordinating the “Take a Stand” motorcycle ride, which began at MCAS Yuma and ended at Amberly’s Place in Yuma, Ariz., where Smith received used cammies that Marines donated, which she is using to make additional quilts.
“All donated materials are made into quilts, and those quilts will be donated to Amberly’s Place or are sold and the proceeds are donated to Amberly’s Place,” said Mary Chipman MCAS Yuma’s Installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.
“The day of the motorcycle ride she gave it to me and it’s beautiful,” said Chipman about the quilt SAPR received. “Its teal and has the name SAPR, which stands for sexual assault prevention and response, and even some of the squares are little teal ribbons, which is the symbol during sexual assault awareness month. It was very heartfelt and she did it in honor of her grandmother she said.”
Despite sexual assault awareness month drawing to a close, Marines and their spouses are still volunteering their time in support of sexual assault awareness and prevention.
In fact, some Marines and their spouses interested in the art of quilt making, to include Sande Smith and Sandra Lewis of Yuma, Ariz., and are learning how to quilt themselves.
“They are learning skills to help others,” said Master Sgt. Shaun Lawrence of MCAS Yuma’s Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), a Uniform Victim Advocate (UVA), and a native of Ulysses, Penn.
The quilts and wall hangings will benefit Amberly’s Place from the proceeds of a raffle drawing to be held in the coming weeks within the Yuma community.
According to Lawrence, approximately 30 uniforms were donated in the inaugural “Take a Stand” motorcycle ride. The intent is to make the motorcycle ride a yearly event and continue the donation of gently worn cammies to make quilts and wall hangings in support of sexual assault awareness and prevention.
After all, the stations SAPR program provides outreach and support to empower the Marines and Sailors on the station to end sexual assault by providing them with tools to intervene before sexual assaults occur.
The SAPR program provides Marines and Sailors with events that focus on sharing tools and knowledge for sexual assault awareness and prevention. Most recently, the “Take a Stand” motorcycle ride was MCAS Yuma’s effort in standing up to sexual assault. The recent “Sex Signals” presentation is another tool to bring awareness to sexual assault and its prevention. The presentation was held at the MCAS Yuma station theater, May 15.
Resources for sexual assault victims are also provided through the SAPR program. After an assault, victims are encouraged to contact a Uniform Victim Advocate (UVA) or civilian advocate for support, information, and to make the decision between restricted and unrestricted reporting. The SAPR program at MCAS Yuma has a 24 hour response helpline, (928) 941-3650.