FORT LESLEY J. MCNAIR, DC -- Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) is an annual observance recognized in April by both civilian and military communities. The Department of Defense observes SAAPM by focusing on creating the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault and requiring a personal commitment from all service members.
The Department of Defense 2020 SAAPM theme is “Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission.”
“SAAPM enables engaged leaders to foster a climate of good order and
discipline, dignity, respect, accountability, and living the Army Values. This creates a healthy work environment and contributes to unit readiness,” said Tamika L. Wynn, a sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) at Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region and the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. “We are committed to eliminating sexual assault and sexual harassment in the military.”
Every year SARCs coordinate local SAAPM activities as a way to extend the message that everyone has a role in preventing sexual assault.
“SAAPM highlights the prevalence of sexual violence and inspires public awareness to build resource material that unites survivors, advocates and community members,” said Wynn, who also emphasized that education helps reinforce prevention and bolster a culture of respect throughout the year.
As part of SAAPM, JFHQ-NCR/MDW will observe Denim Day on April 29 by encouraging the workforce to wear denim as an affirmation of their commitment to maintaining a command climate of dignity and respect and as a pledge to support survivors of sexual assault.
The international Denim Day campaign began in 1999 as a protest of an Italian Supreme Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing jeans. The day serves as a way to dispel myths about sexual violence and survivors.
“As the MDW Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, SAAPM allows me the opportunity to bring attention to the realities of what sexual violence looks like in our communities and highlight the care and dedication our first responders provide to victims,” said Wynn.
If you have been a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault, you can visit sexualassault.army.mil or contact the DOD 24/7 Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247 for assistance and resources.
National Capital Region Sexual Assault Hotlines are staffed 24/7 to report sexual assault:
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Hotline -- 202-498-4009
Fort George G. Meade Hotline -- 443-845-0896
Ft. Belvoir and Ft. AP Hill Hotline -- 703-740-7029