APRIL 21, 2015, AKRON, Ohio (NNS) – In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), Sailors assigned Navy Operation Support Center (NOSC) Akron gathered to bring awareness to issues which can affect both civilian and military member during a drill weekend event held April 12.
In recognition of the 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) SAAPM theme: “Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part,” both active and reserve Sailors wore teal ribbons as a sign of solidarity in their stand against sexual assault. NOSC staff members prepared baked goods, developed posters and distributed sexual assault awareness literature.
Serving at the forefront of the NOSC Akron’s Sexual Assault Prevention Response (SAPR) team is Personnel Support 1st Class Christa Nelson, the program coordinator.
“It is pretty important to find unconventional means to educate Sailors and raise awareness,” said Nelson, as she thought back to how she would deliver the most impactful presentation while raising awareness. “You often lose the message and the delivery by only presenting power point slides.”
Equipped with training ideas Nelson attributes to SAPR program managers located in Great Lakes, she sought out a Sailor who was not a stranger to hard work, embodied spirit to never giving up and determination to never give up. This is when she met Information System Technician 3rd Class Rachael Pae, who held all those principles and more.
Under the inspiration of Nelson, Pae took this DoD theme and did not look back. She can be found training fellow Sailors to do the same and believes that “it is important to learn from our past, make a change and have Sailors themselves speak out. We are actually protecting those that protect our country.”
“I don’t believe it will ever go away, but it will become less prominent in our Navy if our Sailors know what resources are out there to take the necessary steps to stop it and prevent it,” she added.
Pae helped organize and conduct events to raise awareness, as well as made an impact on the local Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). In addition to her normal duties, Pae volunteered her time to operate an informational table within the NOSC filled with various resources and education on the prevention of sexual assault.
“RAINN and the Navy’s Sexual Assault and Prevention and Response programs are important, so we need to use underlying resources and unconventional means to tell our [Reserve Sailors] about the programs, as they do exist; and if they need resources, they are out there.”
The RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization operates the anonymous and secure DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org), along with operating 1,100 rape crisis centers in the U.S.
RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.