By Mr. Robert K Lanier (Regional Health CommandAtlantic)April 30, 2019
Keller Army Community Hospital concluded its recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, on April 30, 2019, with a speaker event featuring Mr. Health Phillips, a U.S. Navy Veteran and military sexual trauma survivor.
The discussion, which included adult topics and sexual terms, was more than just a sexual assault awareness presentation. It was an amazing sharing of Heath's personal life, about one man, who was sexually abused, raped, harassed and bullied, and the obstacles he had to overcome to start healing. His discussion was a reminder of how all our stories are interconnected, how even our smallest actions and decisions impact the world around us.
At the conclusion of his discussion, and a question/answer session, Mr. Phillips received a 'Command Coin' from Col. Brett H. Venable, Commander, Keller Army Community Hospital; and a Certificate of Appreciation for sharing his story with the Keller community.
On Monday evening, Mr. Phillips held a discussion with a group of West Point Cadets.
The speaking event was one of many events conducted by Keller Command and staff to show their support for SAAPM.
On April 1st, SAAPM kicked off when Ms. Tia Moore, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Keller Army Community Hospital, and her team of 'teal-colored silhouettes' provided SAAPM messages throughout the hospital. The silhouettes provided sexual assault awareness messages and statistics to Keller staff and hospital visitors.
On April 2nd, Ms. Moore manned an awareness table outside of the Keller Dining Facility and provided sexual assault awareness information and pens, and had visitors spin the "What Would You Do?" wheel, which provided a scenario for the person provide their response.
On April 10th, Keller staff participated in West Point's "Walk-A-Mile" event in observance of SAAPM. Along the one-mile loop -- around 'The Plain' (West Point's parade field) -- were t-shirts designed by Cadets. The 'purple' t-shirts signified domestic violence victims, the 'white' t-shirts signified sexual assault victims, and the 'teal' t-shirts signified friends of a sexual assault victim. Ms. Moore manned an information booth at the beginning of the walk and also participated in the event.
On April 15th, Keller staff participated in Denim Day. This is the 20th anniversary of the 'Peace Over Violence' Denim Day campaign in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. The campaign was originally triggered by an Italian Supreme Court ruling where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that "because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but consensual sex." The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day has become a symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.
On April 23rd, Keller hosted Ms. Leah Farchmin who discussed the DoD Safe Helpline to assembled Keller staff.
The SAAPM concluding speaker, Mr. Phillips, has spoken on military installations, colleges, work place environments, and has also appeared in several media publications and documentaries. He chooses to be a speaker, most importantly, to educate our military with regards to the damage sexual assault and hazing does to anyone (to include males).