CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Third Army observed Sexual Assault Awareness Month here throughout April.
One of the goals of SAAM was to educate service members and civilians about prevention, care and reporting of sexual assault, said Angelina Martzolff, sexual assault victim advocate, 113th Sustainment Brigade and Fayetteville, N.C., resident.
“SAAM is very important because a lot of soldiers have been sexually assaulted, and they don’t always know how to get help,” stated Martzolff.
Several events were held during the month, such as a 5K run/walk, movie nights, a Zumba workout, and a vigil utilizing chemical lights in place of candles. These events brought people together in order to inform them where they can go to get support if they find themselves victims of sexual assault or harassment, said Martzolff.
Booths at the Post Exchange displayed 10 “sex rules” designed to eliminate sexual assault. Service members and civilians were encouraged to sign their name on a pledge board to show devotion to stopping sexual assault.
“Sexual assault has to stop; it’s ruining lives,” said Martzolff.
By hanging up the pledge boards in common areas such as the dining facility, Third Army hoped to stop sexual assault by creating a “strength in numbers” defense, said Master Sgt. Jamye Sanders, Third Army senior sexual assault response coordinator and native of Louisville, Ky.
The events, booths and pledge boards are all designed to make people aware that, even though sexual assault is a very real problem, it can be overcome with enough people dedicated to the cause, said Sanders.
“If people can see that so many others are dedicated to stopping sexual assault, it will give them the courage to take a stand against it,” Sanders stated.
Third Army is dedicated to preventing sexual assault through education and awareness.