Action not words
U.S. Army Garrison Okinawa held a proclamation signing April 1 at Havana's on Torii Station to mark the beginning of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The event was held to raise public awareness and provide education and resources about sexual violence and child abuse prevention to the Army community on Okinawa and featured a breakfast buffet, poetry readings and proclamation signings by Garrison Commander Col. Eric A. Martinez.
Sexual violence and child abuse are major public health, human rights and social justice issues according to USAG - O officials who stressed that every member of the Army Family has a duty to prevent, report and put an end to sexual assault and child abuse.
"This month and throughout the year, U.S. Army Garrison - Okinawa encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making our community a better place for children and Families by stamping out the scourge of sexual assault and child abuse," said Martinez. "By ensuring that our organization has the knowledge, skills and resources they need through programs like SHARP and victim advocacy, we can help promote social and emotional well-being within our community. Sexual assault and child abuse are anathema to our values as Soldiers and Army civilians and cannot be tolerated. It's time for all of us to act."
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. Rape is the most under-reported crime in the U.S. with 63 percent of sexual assaults not reported to police.
Similarly, many researchers believe that child fatalities due to abuse and neglect are significantly underreported according to www.childwelfare.gov
who estimates that 1,640 children died from abuse and neglect in 2012.
"[Sexual Assault Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month] are both worthwhile endeavors that require our ongoing diligence," said Army Community Service Director Scott Hamilton. "The dangers to women and children are still sorely apparent in our society. So it is up to each and every one of us to fight against these social ailments," he said.
For more information on preventing and reporting sexual assault or child abuse, call 090-6861-8447 or visit www.toriimwr/acs.