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    “Bulldog” Brigade Candlelight Vigil

    “Bulldog” Brigade Candlelight Vigil

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Alon Humphrey | Lt. Col. Jeremiah Willis, Commander of 2nd Engineer Battalion “Sapper Steel,” 3rd...... read more read more

    “I trusted him,” a survivor of sexual assault wrote, expressing her story of rape by someone she considered a close friend. “After his 6-foot-5 frame took over my 4-foot-5 frame, I asked to use the bathroom.”

    Staff Sgt. Joseph Ledbetter, a Suffolk, Virginia native and victim advocate for Charlie Company, 2nd Engineer Battalion “Sapper Steel,” 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division reads, “leaving the restroom she sees her perpetrator laying on the floor with his legs crossed as if he was a king and completed his duty, all she could do was asked to be dropped off at the barracks with a long quiet drive back.”

    Soldiers, leaders, and their families joined Sapper Steel Battalion for a candlelight vigil in support of sexual assault awareness and prevention month. Participants walked to three different locations and read several sexual assault survivor stories during the event.

    The candles represented awareness for victims of sexual assault, signifying they do not have to handle their traumatic event alone and are being heard.

    “As victim advocates, it is our mission to provide Soldiers the help they need,” said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Rosales, an Oxnard, California native and 2 BEB Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “It is our responsibility to guide them through the [reporting] process during a very difficult time.”

    The Department of Defense estimates about 20,500 service members experienced sexual assault in fiscal year 2018, but only 6,053 military members reported being assaulted. “Soldiers should be free of a hostile work environment fostered by sexual harassment and assault,” Rosales said. “They should feel safe in knowing that leaders and peers will not stand for sexual harassment or sexual assault within their formations.”

    Fort Bliss, Texas, home to the 2 BEB, recently unveiled OPERATION IRONCLAD, an initiative dedicated to ending destructive behaviors among the service members, families, and civilians of Fort Bliss. IRONCLAD is focusing first on reducing cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault by raising awareness and educating Soldiers, families, parents, and leaders to feel safe in their community. The message is clear: sexual harassment and sexual assault will not be tolerated, now or ever.



    Date Taken: 04.14.2021
    Date Posted: 04.15.2021 20:57
    Story ID: 393992
    Location: EL PASO, TX, US 
    Hometown: CHICAGO, IL, US
    Hometown: IMMOKALEE, FL, US
    Hometown: OXNARD, CA, US
    Hometown: SUFFOLK, VA, US

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