Sexual Assault Awareness, Prevention Month begins with resource fair

By by Kimberly K. Fritz, DLA Aviation Public Affairs

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Katrina Leverette, Defense Logistics Agency Aviation’s sexual assault response coordinator or SARC, kicked off Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with a resource fair at the Center Restaurant April 5 on Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia.

Every year, in April, the Department of Defense observes National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month to raise awareness and educate communities on the prevention of sexual assault.

Leverette and SARCs around the world work all year to educate employees on what sexual assault is and where to seek help when it happens.

Leverette said she hopes that raising awareness will help prevent the occurrences of sexual assault.

“I have an open door where there is freedom to speak about inappropriate behaviors without the fear of reprisal or retaliation. I am able to assist with making a police report if an investigation is desired by the client, obtaining restraining orders, accompaniment to different appointments directly related to the case, as well as many other support resources,” she said.

Part of Leverette’s duties are to provide advocacy to DLA employees and their adult children who are victims of sexual assault. 

Community partners like the USO, YWCA, the U.S. Army Reserve 80th Training Command (The Army School System), Army Family Reserve Programs, the James House, Safe Harbor and the Red Cross were available during the fair for people who have experienced sexual assault or for people who want to donate their time or resources, Leverette said.

Kasinda Thomas, Fort Lee USO Center director, said the USO supports community programs as well as its own.

Richmond YWCA Community Outreach Specialist Rachael Kaufman highlighted the services they offer to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“We offer case management and advocacy,” she said. “We also offer information and classes for teens in the Richmond area about healthy relationships.”

Kaufman also said there are volunteer opportunities at the YWCA.

Leverette said she was pleased with the turnout of community organizations and DSCR employees looking for more information.

Other events planned for this month are:

  • April 12: A kickboxing class at the DSCR Fitness Center from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  (registration not required)

  • April 28: National Denim Day ­- wear jeans and show your support

  • April 28: Sexual Assault 5k Fun Walk/Run at the DSCR Running Trail at 9 a.m. (registration not required)

  • Wear the color teal on Tuesdays in April

  • A DLA-wide fitness challenge: you can now get in shape, participate in healthy competition and support prevention and awareness of sexual assault all at the same time. This challenge began April 1st and runs for the duration of the month.  For more information or questions, contact Leverette at (804) 279-1163 or via email at katrina.leverette@dla.mil.