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Andersen takes SAPR pledge, recognizes sexual assault awareness and prevention month

Chief Master Sgt. Michael McMillan, 36th Wing command chief, speaks about sexual assault prevention and response during an awareness rally April 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. April is recognized as Sexual Assault and Awareness Prevention month, which is dedicated to raising awareness and educating Airmen and their families about prevention methods. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Michael McMillan, 36th Wing command chief, speaks about sexual assault prevention and response during an awareness rally April 1, 2015, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. April is recognized as Sexual Assault and Awareness Prevention month, which is dedicated to raising awareness and educating Airmen and their families about prevention methods. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth, 36th Wing commander, signs a proclamation for sexual assault and awareness prevention month with other Joint Region Marianas senior leaders April 1, 2016, at Guam Community College, Mangilao, Guam. The proclamation signing kicked off the SAAPM for JRM, which solidifies the Air Force’s zero tolerance policy on sexual assault, outlining how Airmen will be there for their wingmen in times of crises and to speak up when they see something. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cierra Presentado/Released)

Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth, 36th Wing commander, signs a proclamation for sexual assault and awareness prevention month with other Joint Region Marianas senior leaders April 1, 2016, at Guam Community College, Mangilao, Guam. The proclamation signing kicked off the SAAPM for JRM, which solidifies the Air Force’s zero tolerance policy on sexual assault, outlining how Airmen will be there for their wingmen in times of crises and to speak up when they see something. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cierra Presentado/Released)

Airmen from the 36th Wing take the sexual assault prevention pledge April 1, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The sexual assault pledge solidifies the Air Force’s zero tolerance policy on sexual assault, outlining how Airmen will be there for their wingmen in times of crises and to speak up when they see something. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

Airmen from the 36th Wing take the sexual assault prevention pledge April 1, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The sexual assault pledge solidifies the Air Force’s zero tolerance policy on sexual assault, outlining how Airmen will be there for their wingmen in times of crises and to speak up when they see something. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexa Ann Henderson/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Sexual Assault and Awareness Prevention month officially kicked off April 1 with a proclamation signing at Guam Community College, Mangilao, Guam.

In addition to the proclamation signing, Andersen Air Force Base Airmen held a pep rally aiming to raise awareness of sexual assault in the military.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team members Air Force-wide use April to recognize and spread awareness for their cause, however, as their slogan for this year states, sexual assault prevention and education is meant to be recognized year-round, not just in April.

“We utilize this month to hold events and bring our members together to talk about the SARC program,” said Capt. Tina Frierson, 36th Medical Operations Squadron SAPR coordinator. “We want to educate base members on the program, so they can feel comfortable coming to us.”

Multiple events are scheduled throughout the month to inform the base populace about the SARC office and its capabilities, including an information fair and a mixed fit mashup workout sequence, to help mitigate sexual assault.

Alongside the SARC office are the victim advocates, who assist survivors of sexual assault by providing effective and compassionate support.

“I would like Airmen and their families to know that we as victim advocates, along with the SARC and volunteers, are committed to promoting the goal of zero tolerance of sexual assault,” said Tech. Sgt. James Garrido, SARC Victim Advocate. “Sexual assault has no place in my Air Force.”

While there are men and women dedicated to preventing sexual assault, it also falls on the shoulders of the friends, families and coworkers of victims to speak up when they see something.

“It’s important for survivors to have supporters and for Airmen and family members to speak up when they see something wrong,” Frierson said.

For more information in regards to SAAPM or any other questions, please contact the SARC office at 366-7272.