The Department of Defense released updated policies and procedures aimed at combating sexual assaults in the military and improving care for victims, March 28, 2013.

CAMP ZAMA, Japan (April 4, 2013) -- April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but like many campaigns, sexual assault awareness should be practiced throughout the year. The U.S. Army Japan G1 Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention team will host events all month long to raise awareness and to help community members "do what's right ... legally, morally and ethically."

To help inform and further educate the members of the USARJ community, the Camp Zama Community Activity Center aired "The Invisible War" documentary twice during the month. This film highlights the battles faced by victims of sexual assault in the military. The Army is utilizing this film as a training tool to spread awareness about sexual assault policy initiatives regarding how the Army cares for its victims and prosecutes offenders. This film embodies one of the USARJ team's "Words to Live By" -- "Practice the 'Golden Rule.'"

After you witness the devastation sexual assaults have brought to the victims' personal and professional lives, not only will you be more inclined to "treat others as you would want to be treated," but you may also be inclined to think about treating others as you would want your family members to be treated. This film helps every viewer become more aware and more likely to intervene and act when they see something wrong.

"Spiritual, physical and mental fitness is a must." Mental fitness may be hard to measure, but it can be as simple visiting the Sexual Assault Awareness booth April 6 at Camp Zama's annual Cherry Blossom Festival for information and victim-care procedures. You can even paint a therapeutic Sexual Assault Awareness T-shirt to help spread awareness April 8 starting at 10 a.m. on Camp Zama at the intersection of Ishinomaki Avenue and B Street.

The T-shirts will be displayed in this location all month long; much like our community displays crosses during the holiday season to raise awareness about drinking and driving. For a physical and competitive event, join us and key members of Naval Air Facility Atsugi's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator team at the Camp Zama Bowling Alley April 19 for free bowling and free shoe rental from 6 to 9 p.m., during which time you can also enjoy a 10 percent discount on all snack bar purchases.

In addition, we will also team up with the Atsugi SARC team again, as both of our communities can nurture their spiritual fitness by attending the SAAM candlelight vigil at the Atsugi base chapel April 30 from 11 a.m. to noon.

"Ensure your family is Army strong ... and prepared." Be sure to pick up an SAAM keychain at any event all month long. The keychain features the Sexual Assault Hotline phone number, 090-9395-8909, and can be reached any time of day, evening, weekend or holiday. We hope a sexual assault doesn't happen to you or anyone you know, but being prepared and knowing the number is the first step in confidential victim care.

Sexual assault is a crime and cannot be tolerated in our community, or in our Army. Demand the change to end sexual violence by spreading awareness, and stay Army strong.

Page last updated Wed April 3rd, 2013 at 19:51