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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Base observes Sexual Abuse Awareness Month

By Art Powell | | April 22, 2010

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Victims of sexual abuse within the Department of Defense are the subject of Sexual Abuse Awareness Month during the month of April.

Help is available for personnel at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and base officials want to ensure that reporting procedures are understood.

According to the Web site http://www.sapr.mil/media/pdf/news/2010, the 2010 campaign will focus on the effects that sexual assault has on the military’s mission readiness.

As is readily understood throughout the military, mission readiness defines a unit’s ability to deploy quickly and efficiently.

The Web site states that a sexual assault can reverberate throughout a unit and beyond, degrading readiness by harming the life of the victim and the military’s ability to work effectively as a team.

The theme “Hurts one, Affects all,” not only conveys that sexual assault affects the victim, it affects bystanders. Preserving mission readiness can serve, then, as motivation for acts of bystander intervention. Each military service has a series of posters which illustrate real-life situations and encourage everyone to get involved, according to the Web site.

“Sexual assault in the military is a problem, especially in the Army and Navy,” said Jamie Hurst, Installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, MCLB Albany. “That could be because they have more personnel than the Marine Corps.”

For those charged with enforcing regulations and responding to sexual assault situations, the definition is clear.

“Sexual assault is defined as any unwanted touching or sexual contact, unwanted physical advances, or penetration of any kind, especially if someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and cannot consent to having sex,” she explained.

Unwanted conversations about sexual activity are considered sexual harassment, not sexual assault.

For more information on Sexual Abuse Awareness Month, call Hurst at (229) 639-7938.


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