APRIL 5, 2016, BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) – A visual reminder that April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month was added at Naval Hospital Bremerton with a “Chalk the Walk” display, April 4.
NHB Sexual Assault Prevention and Response victim advocates illustrated the command’s sky bridge between the main hospital and Mount Baker patient parking lot and Mount Adams staff parking lot with statistics, information and short narratives concerning sexual assault awareness and prevention.
“This is new, this is colorful,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Nathan Cole, NHB lead victim advocate. “This will catch people’s attention and it is eye-catching. I just wrote about the option that someone can go outside their chain of command to report an assault. That’s the kind of information that needs to be known by everyone. We got this idea from our Navy Reserve counterparts who did it last year in the area. We decided to add it this year as another way to educate and train everyone to prevent sexual assault.”
According to Lt. Angela Sadosky, NHB SAPR Program coordinator, the “Chalk the Walk” is one of the upcoming SAPR events at NHB that span the entire month to continuously remind staff on sexual assault awareness and prevention, as well as promote awareness of SAPR program resources, and continue the focus on the goal of eliminating sexual assault occurrences within the Department of Defense.
“Really, anything anyone of us can think of to share the word, whether it’s the safe help line or a phrase reminding someone on how to report is helping to do the job of increasing awareness,” said Sadosky.
Some of the chalked notes included; “DoD 6,131 reports received in 2014,” “68 percent of sexual assaults are not reported,” “four out of five assaults are committed by someone you know,” and “NHB victim advocates are available 24/7.”
NHB Command Master Chief Randy Pruitt shared an all-hands email when the display was being sketched out, and curious staff members immediately started to view the chalked work.
“It’s like an art walk,” said Dawn Geron, NHB referral coordinator.
“Very different from what we usually see. I love it,” added Patrice Gren, NHB medical staff referral professional.
Along with the “Chalk the Walk” display, NHB will also host an informational table manned by the command’s victim advocates to engage with staff during the lunch hour, an awareness run and awareness relay run, and several realistic SAPR drills to test the Victim Care Protocols and timely response of the command’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations (SAFE) teams.
“This “Chalk the Walk” really is an awesome display, and it definitely does accomplish the main goal of getting the word out,” said Pruitt.
NHB’s SAPR program and SAFE capability provide a balance of focused education, comprehensive response, compassionate advocacy, and just adjudication in order to promote professionalism, respect, and trust, while preserving Navy mission readiness. They are also comprehensive programs that reinforce a culture of prevention, response, and accountability for the safety, dignity, and well-being of Sailors and Marines. The Department of the Navy does not tolerate sexual assault.
The Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery directed military treatment facility like NHB three years ago to establish a multidisciplinary team to be able to handle any type of sexual assault case with a staff trained and ready to provide timely and appropriate medical care as soon as possible.
On a regular basis, NHB ensures that sexual assault education is provided to every Sailor. There is also an photo board on the first floor displaying the command’s victim advocates, so staff as well as beneficiaries are aware of who they can turn to in case they have questions or need help.
Additionally throughout the entire hospital, Sadosky and her team have added informational posters so everyone knows where to turn for increased professional help if needed.
There’s even a colorful graffiti display helping to spread the word. One chalk mark at a time.