National Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention Month

By Ms. Joan B Vasey (Huachuca)April 11, 2016

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(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Huachuca, Arizona -- Fort Huachuca's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program and Cochise College are partnering to host a community Take Back the Night event 5:30-8 p.m. April 13 at the Cochise College Sierra Vista Campus, 901 N. Colombo Ave., to empower women and men to live without fear of being sexually assaulted.

"Most sexual assaults take place at night," stated Lana Tompkins-Stutzman, Fort Huachuca installation victim advocate. "Take Back the Night sends a powerful message that encourages potential victims to be strong. It's a statement of survival and empowerment encouraging people to be strong and venture into the night without fear."

The special event at Cochise College includes music by the Military Intelligence Corps rock band, Cochise County Outlaws; testimonies from survivors; a "Start by Believing" presentation by Sierra Vista Police Department Officer Lori Burdick; a candlelight vigil to recognize survivors and victims of sexual assault; and resource and information tables.

The Take Back the Night program seeks to end sexual violence in all of its forms including sexual assault, sexual abuse, and dating and domestic violence.

"At our country's core is a basic belief in the inherent dignity of every person," stated President Barack Obama in his March 31 proclamation declaring April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. "Too many women and men of all ages suffer the outrage that is sexual assault, and too often, this crime is not condemned as loudly as it should be.

"Together, we must stand up and speak out to change the culture that questions the actions of victims, rather than those of their attackers. As their relatives, friends, neighbors, and fellow Americans, it's on us to support victims and survivors by providing them with the care they need, bringing perpetrators to justice, and ensuring our institutions are held responsible and do not look the other way.

"This month, we reaffirm our commitment to shift the attitudes that allow sexual assault to go unanswered and unpunished, and we redouble our efforts to prevent this human rights violation from happening in the first place."

For more information, call 520.533.7795.