Ceremony marks start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Alex Siemiatkowski DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

PRINT  |  E-MAIL

A non-commissioned officer at the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support said that going through a sexual assault ultimately made her a stronger person.

 Air Force Master Sgt. Naka Turner, Industrial Hardware material planner, hadn’t told her story in front of an audience before speaking at the Sexual Assault Awareness Month opening ceremony at Naval Support Activity Philadelphia April 4. But she did so to help bring awareness to the issue.

 “This (sexual assault) was by far the hardest situation that I had to deal with,” Turner said. “In that instance, I didn’t understand why or how something could affect so many people.”

 Turner said her sexual assault affected her family members, the assailant’s family and her community.

 “If anyone here (at DLA) knows me, truly knows me, with all the things I have been through, I am still such a giving, positive person,” said Turner. “I just want to say to anyone who has dealt with this or dealing with a situation like this, do not let it control your life.”

 The Sexual Assault Awareness Month program was a first for Naval Support Activity Philadelphia.

It’s an important topic in the military and civilian workforce, Army Brig. Gen. Charles Hamilton, Troop Support commander, said in a video message played during the program.

 “Everyone, at all levels, must demonstrate his or her commitment to creating and enforcing an environment free from sexual misconduct,” he said.

 There isn’t a record of any sexual assaults at NSA Philadelphia, Navy Capt. Rudy Geisler, base commander, said.

 The ceremony was the first of several activities during the month to promote sexual assault awareness. Employees can learn more and talk to victim advocates at information booths during lunchtimes at base cafeteria areas:

 Bldg. 15 - April 5

Bldg. 1 - April 6

Bldg. 3 - April 11

Bldg. 6 - April 13

Bldg. 8 - April 18

Bldg. 36 - April 19

 

 A sexual assault awareness walk is scheduled for April 25, rain or shine, from the ball fields to Bldg. 15. The theme is “walk a mile in their shoes.”

 Lastly, NSA Philadelphia employees are encouraged to wear teal t-shirts and denim, with permission from supervisors, April 26 in support of Denim Day. The event is inspired by a 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because the victim helped her attacker remove her tight jeans, according to the Denim Day website.

 Ella Wynn, DLA Troop Support sexual assault response coordinator, is available to provide employees with resources and referrals, victim advocacy and immediate crisis response.

 Wynn’s office is located on the first floor of Building 36, Room 1153. Her office hours are Tuesday - Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and is available through email at Ella.Wynn@dla.mil.

 You can also call the DLA SAPR hotline 24/7 at 1-800-841-0937