By Spc. Crystal O'Neal, 2HBCT Public AffairsMay 5, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - The 3rd Infantry Division Army Community Service Family Advocacy Program hosted a talent show April 29 in the Woodruff Theater at Fort Stewart.
The talent show, "Fashion with a Purpose," not only displayed the latest spring, summer, night life, evening, formal, and church wear, but also informed and educated attendants on the importance of being aware of sexual assault and taking a stand against this crime.
The show started with prayer by Garrison Family Life Chaplain, Chap. (Maj.) Michael Reeves, and went into an act of praise dancing and step performance by a local adolescent praise dance team, Full Gospel Perfect Praise.
Ms. Safiyyah Alexander, an installation victim advocate, performed spoken word, addressing the audience, from a sexual assault victim's point of view, explaining why the crime is heinous as well as wrong.
Alexander said the more people are aware of the crime, the more likely the crime can and will be prevented.
"Besides domestic violence, sexual assault is one of the most unreported crimes. Most of the time the victims are embarrassed or ashamed to report the crime; they think no one will believe them," she said. "Events like today lets these victims know this offense is serious and there are people who do care and there are ways to punish the offender."
The show continued on with an array of models, who not only wowed the crowd with their choice of fashion but also with the knowledgeable messages they spoke to the crowd while ripping the runway.
According to Chaplain Reeves, sexual assault, though viewed by some as a touchy subject, must be addressed and acknowledged - especially among Soldiers and their Families.
"It's about time that we talked about it. Today, because of this show, Soldiers and their Families both learned more about the subject. Sometimes, it's hard to get out a positive message when it comes to something that is viewed as totally negative. However, this fashion show captured the positive beautifully - by addressing this issue, it can be prevented," he said.
Staff Sergeant Allen Jackson, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said because sexual assault does negatively affect unit cohesion, events such as "Fashion with a Purpose" are definitely necessary.
"Like the models said in the fashion show, sexual assault does not just affect the victim - it affects everybody around them. When something like this happens within the unit, it brings down morale and kills the trust within the ranks," he said. "Any time something like this happens, it is horrible, and hopefully, as we become more aware, prevention will be achieved."
Victims of sexual assault should contact Family Advocacy at 912-767-5058 (Stewart) and 912-315-6816 (Hunter) to stand up against sexual assault. The Victim Advocate hotline is 912-767-3032 (Stewart) and 912-315-5343 (Hunter), and the hotline takes calls 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.