MCAS Miramar, 3rd MAW recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Story by Sgt. Michael Thorn

Date: 04.22.2016
Posted: 04.28.2016 17:11
News ID: 196818
MCAS Miramar, 3rd MAW recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Personnel with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month with the 2016 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Walk aboard MCAS Miramar, California, April 22.

The month of April is dedicated to bring increased awareness to the subject and allows the leadership to emphasize the importance of sexual assault prevention to service members.

According to Latricia Kamins, sexual assault response coordinator with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron (HHS), sexual assault is a serious issue that not only the military, but society as a whole faces.

“It tears at the foundation of the Marine Corps,” said Kamins. “It tears at mission readiness and unit cohesion. If it affects one of us, it affects all of us.”

Maj. Gen. Michael Rocco, commanding general of 3rd MAW, and Col. Jason Woodworth, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar, along with other leadership and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response representatives, signed a proclamation and created banners to raise awareness on the subject.

“When [sexual assault] happens to an individual, they lose self-esteem, their ability to focus, and the way they interact with their coworkers is influenced,” said Woodworth. “Anytime anybody is hurt or abused in any type of way, it is degrading to our mission, but more importantly its degrading to people as human beings.”

The banners were carried during the 2016 SAPR Walk, led by Woodworth and Sgt. Maj. Michael Walton, sergeant major of MCAS Miramar. Volunteers participated in a 1-mile walk that concluded at the parade deck aboard the installation to spread awareness on sexual assault.

“[Sexual assault] is a problem,” said Brig. Gen. Ted Banta, commanding general of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Installations West. “It is the most divisive thing that can happen to a unit. In addition to the impact it has on the individual and on the families, it tears apart the cohesive fabric of any unit.”

The walk concluded with Staff Sgt. Julia Edwards, G-4 operations chief with Headquarters Regiment, 1st Marine Logistics Group, speaking to those that participated about sexual assault through her personal experience.

“It’s been many years since I was a victim, and now I am a survivor,” said Edwards. “Our society needs more survivors to uplift those going through what they went through…We may not be able to completely eliminate sexual assault, but we definitely can minimize it.”