Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month Joint Service Field Meet

by Rushaunda A. Farmer
Marine Corps SARC

Every year the Department of Defense observes the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The importance of the designation of a specific month for Sexual Assault Awareness is that it provides the vehicle in which there is a concerted effort to remind all of the individuals affiliated with the military of the critical role that they play in eliminating Sexual Assault.

In support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Marine Corps Base Butler Installation Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) hosted its 2nd Annual SAPR Cup Field Meet on 14 April 2017.  Major General Joaquin Malavet, Commanding General for Marine Corps Installations Pacific provided opening remarks for the event.  MajGen Malavet spoke to the fact that a joint service effort is needed in order to eradicate Sexual Assault.  He recognized each service individually and noted that it is important to encourage one another regardless of the uniform worn.   The event took place on Camp Foster and brought all four branches of service together to compete against one another for bragging rights as well as a trophy.  Each branch brought eager and motivated Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen to the field to compete in a Four Person Relay, Tug of War, Tire Flip, Four Person Push-Up Event and a SAPR Puzzle Event using oversized Jenga blocks that certainly nodded to the television show “Survivor.”  

The idea for a Field Meet was a new and innovative way of approaching Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention.  The SAPR Cup Field Meet afforded each of the branches of Service the opportunity to come together and collectively bring awareness to an issue that continues to plague the military community.  The reality is that Sexual Assault does not discriminate and unfortunately touches each of the branches of Service and as such it is only appropriate that the services come together to combat Sexual Assault while engaging in friendly competition.  Each of the team members and volunteers donned identical shirts that had SAAPM (Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month) on the front and the respective branch represented on the back demonstrating the collective effort in combatting the issue of Sexual Assault.

At the conclusion of the event, the Army Team was victorious and claimed the SAPR Cup trophy as well as bragging rights.  However, everyone walked away more motivated regarding the role that they play in helping to eradicate Sexual Assault.  

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