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I've got your back!

Soldiers in Europe get an educational new look at sexual assault awareness

By Sgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

WIESBADEN, Germany -- "Got your back," part of a program called SEXSIGNALS, is touring throughout bases in Europe, May 5 -- June 27, to educate service members, civilians and family members about the importance of bystander intervention.

"Instead of focusing on changing the behavior of rapists or predators, it's more important that the vast majority of people, who are doing the right thing, are much more effective if they recognize the situation," said Chris Sanders, a Got Your Back presenter. "Part of the point of 'Got Your Back' is bystander intervention but the crux of everything else before that is identifying the culture that provides cover to perpetrators."

"Got Your Back" is a group workshop that uses facilitated dialogue to explore the issues of sexual assault, predator profiling and bystander intervention strategies. Since 2008, the program has been presented approximately 1000 times to U.S. Soldiers around the world.

The program SEXSIGNALS has been presented at hundreds of military installations across the world, as well as hundreds of colleges and schools. Approximately 95 percent of service members who attended this program in the last year said that they felt engaged, would better understand the signs of a possible sexual assault and step in much sooner.

"For so long, we have only addressed the issue of what we are not supposed to be doing," said Sanders. "If the only frame you have is 'this is what you're supposed to do', you're much less likely to do the thing you're not supposed to do. It's like land navigation, getting from point A to point B is exceedingly more easy if you know where point B is, rather than knowing everywhere where point B isn't."

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned to advance American strategic interests across Eurasia and has unparalleled capability to prevent conflict, shape the environment and, if necessary, win decisively. The relationships we build during more than 1000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships, and enhance global security.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sgt. Michael Reinsch, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs 337-3059