MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- More than 350 people hit the ground running at Greenway Trail aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to show support and raise awareness for crimes of sexual assault by participating in the second-annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 5k run, May 17.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program strives to provide support and advocacy to all active-duty Marines and sailors struggling to heal from a sexual assault.
The Defense Department estimated more than 2,700 service members fell victim to sexual assault during the 2011 fiscal year, elevating the 2010 statistic by 100.
“Sexual assault is a preventable crime,” said Marie Brodie, MCB Camp Lejeune’s sexual assault response coordinator. “That’s why we need to educate people aboard base. Both uniformed and civilian advocates are available for support of the victims. They’re here to help.”
The uniformed advocates assist victims with decisions in reporting the assault, receiving medical treatment, and accessing resources for support in their healing.
Members of the response team organized and executed the 5k to raise awareness and attract support for sexual assault prevention.
While hosting the run, SAPR displayed multiple hotline numbers and provided information on how to help in the case of an unpreventable sexual assault.
Runners promoted the cause wearing brightly colored t-shirts with a message from the SAPR program stretched across their backs.
The words called upon all members of the community, declaring sexual assault prevention as everyone’s duty.
The successful event put sexual assault prevention in the spotlight, but Brodie aims for even higher goals as she looks toward the future.
The program places the task of preventing sexual assault on every community member. The organization not only strives for prevention, but also makes support readily available in the aftermath of an assault.
Brodie added to the program’s purpose and named educating Marines and sailors on the issue as the key to success in sexual assault prevention aboard Camp Lejeune.
Sexual assault is marked by an intentional sexual contact characterized by the use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse of authority, and instances where the victim declines or loses the ability to consent.
The SAPR program wants to support victims in times of need. The advocates make every effort toward the healing of sexual assault victims and will continue to work tirelessly in support and prevention.
For support, contact Camp Lejeune’s 24/7 sexual assault help line at 910-750-5852 or visit safehelpline.org.