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April is sexual assault awareness month

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- During April, the Department of Defense will join the national observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise awareness and promote prevention of sexual violence.

The theme for this year's observation is "Hurts one. Affects all."

"This month is all about bringing awareness to those at the base," said Bernie Roy, 4th Fighter Wing sexual assault prevention and response assistant.

In an effort to educate the base population about sexual assault prevention, the SAPR office plans to distribute new posters to units, give-a-ways at the gates April 19, and display messages on the base marquees. There will also be two presentations of "Sex Signals," a two-person act that incorporates military jargon, humor, education and audience interaction to provide Airmen a provocative look at dating, sex and the core issue of consent.

"This presentation teaches us to interpret signals and make sure we have permission before we engage in any act with somebody and educates through humor," said Nancy Pike, 4th FW SARC.

The SARC will also conduct victim advocate training for Airmen interested in volunteering with the SAPR program so they can help those affected by sexual assault.

"The victim advocate becomes a connection to the victim," Pike said. "They provide support and make a difference in the life of a sexual assault victim. Many people have said it was the most difficult, yet rewarding volunteer work they have ever done."

So far Pike has seen a great interest in the advocate training program at Seymour Johnson.

"The more we can raise awareness, the better the program is going to be," she said. "If sexual assault hasn't happened to you, it's not something you think about. This month will show victims they're not alone and we're here to help."

Original content found here.
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