Fort Hunter Liggett Gets Creative With SAAPM Awareness

By Eric R. ButlerJune 23, 2023

Each April, the Army recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM). Each organization throughout the Army hosts awareness and prevention events in which Soldiers, Civilians and Families participate. Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL) and Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (PRFTA) SHARP Office have created some new interactive events this year. Two of the most significant events were the Rock Against Rape Awareness Concert, held on April 7, at PRFTA, and the Cup of Prevention, held on April 13, at FHL Coyote Coffee Cafe.

The concert featured the 191st Army Rock Band, the Band of the Wild West. The group performed more than 20 songs while local resource vendors shared with attendees the ways that their organizations support survivors. Many Alameda County, California, groups attended the event to share what they offer to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Representatives of the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) program shared with the community what their program does and how it supports the overall wellness of the installation. “The event highlights an issue that society deals with all too much,” said Gregory McKrill, an attendee.

The Cup of Prevention allowed community members to gather and discuss how sexual harassment and sexual assault affect the workplace. Each attendee was given a card with a topic or scenario to discuss in small groups. They discussed matters such as consent, bystander intervention and the effects of sexual harassment and assault on readiness. Denise Hays, senior training instructor at Fort Hunter Liggett, said, “These events give tools to use when situations happen.” Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Rupp spoke with attendees about the importance of bystander intervention and the individual responsibility to step forward.

The events held at FHL and PRFTA are part of the monthlong campaign “Intervene. We are a Team: There is an US in TrUSt. Can They Trust in You?” Events are designed to build a more cohesive team and provide attendees with the necessary tools to be successful in intervening when they see something. Sgt. 1st Class Tifanny Hebert, victim advocate at the Parks Noncommissioned Officer Academy, says this year’s theme is significant because “We should all be able to trust in our team to intervene and support the zero-tolerance policy of our commanders.”