The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support is observing Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in April with several virtual events and activities.
“The Department of Defense’s theme for SAAPM 2022 is: Step forward. Prevent. Report. Advocate,” said Gina Ingrao, the DLA Troop Support Sexual Assault Response counselor. “This is a call to action for people at all levels at DLA Troop Support to use their personal strength to advance positive change in preventing sexual violence.”
The month-long observation will kick-off with a special video message from DLA Troop Support Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Shirley. A link to the video, which will also feature information about resources for survivors of sexual assault or those looking to support them, will be sent out during the first week of April. Several other events throughout the month will also give the workforce opportunities to support sexual assault survivors and learn how to prevent these crimes.
Log miles for Troop Support
The Teal Ribbon Relay returns this year, starting on April 1. The goal is for the workforce to track the number of miles they walk, run, swim or bike throughout the month with the goal of hitting 16,203 miles. This is the total distance connecting each DLA major subordinate command around the world.
Participants can report their individual weekly progress by using a tracker and email their results to Ingrao every Friday at email@example.com. Distance should be logged in miles or steps.
The DLA MSC that logs the most miles will receive an engraved plaque from the DLA headquarters SAPR office, presented to winning MSC’s commander, Ingrao said.
Teal Tuesdays also return this April. The workforce is encouraged to wear teal every Tuesday in support of sexual assault prevention and awareness. Employees can submit pictures of themselves wearing teal clothes, showing off teal accessories or wearing a teal ribbon to Ingrao.
The color teal became the nationally recognized color for sexual violence awareness and prevention in 2001, when the National Sexual Violence Center and the Resource Sharing Project polled sexual violence coalitions on the preferred color and symbol for sexual violence awareness activities, Ingrao said.
Lunch and Learn
Teresa White-Walston from the Philadelphia Rape Crisis Center will be the guest speaker during a virtual Lunch and Learn session on April 19. A time and link to view the event will be sent out later this month, Ingrao said.
White-Walston is the Director of Education Services for the Women Organized Against Rape/Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence. She presented a Lunch and Learn session during SAAPM in 2021.
International Denim Day is acknowledged every year on April 28. This year, employees are asked to wear denim and submit their photos to Ingrao.
The annual Denim Day campaign started more than 20 years ago, according to the Denim Day website. A rape ruling by the Italian Supreme Court was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, the women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.
“Every April, the DLA Troop Support workforce comes together to stand with the survivors of sexual assault and demonstrate that we will not tolerate these crimes,” Ingrao said. “This year’s theme calls for us to become allies for survivors and speak up. We need to do that to protect ourselves and the survivors. Please remember that you’re not alone, and that there are people and resources out there to assist you during this time.”
Sexual assault can be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Employees can contact Ingrao at 267-253-8953 or the DLA SAPR Hotline at 1-800-841-0937 for resources or to make a report of sexual assault or abuse.
For resources and more information please visit the DLA SAPR webpage.