FORT CARSON, Colo. - To round out the Army’s sexual assault awareness month, Soldiers, from 1st Space Brigade ran a five kilometer “color run” around Iron Horse Park on a beautiful, sun-drenched morning to raise awareness for the victims of sexual assault on April 29.
“We do these types of events to get the word out to the victims of sexual assault,” said Jess Wilson, 1st Space Brigade’s victim advocate - an eight-year veteran of the Army’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) Program. “We want to make sure they know they have resources and the support they need in an attempt to stop sexual assault and harassment within the ranks.”
Hundreds of Soldiers turned out for the event, some with their families, others with their dogs, to show support and solidarity for the victims of sexual assault.
“We have a great turnout and an even better morning for a run,” said Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Ross, 1st Space Brigade Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC). “This event makes a statement for the victims of sexual assault and harassment who feel they don’t have a voice. We do our best to empower them and give them that voice to speak up and out against what has happened to them, to let everyone know that sexual assault and harassment will not be tolerated in the military, or anywhere in society.”
Color runs have become popular in recent times where runners are blasted with colored powder during the race. Teal was the color of choice for the SHARP 5K, which is the official color of sexual assault awareness month.
1st Space Brigade Commander Col. Donald K. Brooks crossed the race finish line with teal splotches all over his “Beat Navy” Army Black Knights football t-shirt.
“Events like this build camaraderie and teamwork,” Brooks said. “But more importantly this race recognizes the victims of sexual assault and harasment, and for them, they need to know, we have their back. They are in our foxhole, and we all fight this battle together, and that’s truly the only way we are going to beat this disease in the Army.”