SAAPM: Speaking out for the silenced

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jordan Lazaro
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

 “We are one voice,” said 86th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Charmaine N. Kelley.

Ramstein’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program along with South Side Fitness Center and Kaiserslautern Military Community support groups marched together in honor of sexual assault awareness and prevention month to highlight the fight against sexual assault and harassment.

The event was inspired by sexual assault survivor, Savannah Pentek, 786th Force Support Squadron South Side Fitness Center events coordinator.

“You need to protect yourself and you have to protect others,” said Pentek. ”We all need to remember to have each other's backs.”

The event emphasized the importance of everyone’s role in, and awareness of, sexual assault prevention.

“My goal is to make an impact; for it to be serious and honest,” said 1st Lt. Charlotte Barrielle, 86th AW deputy sexual assult response coordinator. “We need to bring awareness to this important issue.”

During the march, the track was lined with booths that had activities for individuals to take part in.

“There is something specific for everyone,” said Barrielle. “Whether it is related to affirmations, self care, letters to a survivor, LGBTQ awareness or sexual harassment.”

Some of these activities included burning notes of negativity, practicing words of affirmation and letters and words of encouragement to survivors.

Additionally, the event featured a wall of boots that represented the variety of individuals who are affected by sexual assault regardless of their age, sex, rank and background.

“These are people that have been hurt by this and it is not a far away cause,” said Barrielle. “Almost every unit on this base, if not every, has been affected by this.”

Support groups on base include SAPR, family advocacy, victims counsel and the chaplain corps.

“We are all here to take a stand with victims of sexual assault,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Briand N. Weeks, 16th Sustainment Brigade SARC. “Tell everyone when you see something, don’t just say something, but do something – that is prevention.”

Along with the community outreach groups, the event had a large group of Airmen who volunteered their time. Among them included Airman 1st Class Rachel Harris, a 786th FSS customer service technician.

“Don’t be afraid to speak up,” said Harris. “There is always someone willing to listen, even when it is difficult to do so.”

To access additional resources call the SAPR hotline at 0637-147-7272.