News | March 24, 2021

Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month goes virtual this year

By Nancy Benecki DLA Troop Support

April is known as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. While most of the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support workforce is working remotely, there will be a number of virtual events throughout the month for people to come together and support this cause.

“The Department of Defense’s theme for SAAPM 2021 is ‘Protecting Our People Protects Our Message,’” said Gina Ingrao, the DLA Troop Support Sexual Assault Response counselor. “That theme is more important than ever this year. Whether we are working together in the office, or individually at home, everyone needs to be aware of what they can do to help prevent sexual assault. I hope that everyone finds at least one event during April they can participate in, and have fun while learning about this extremely important topic.”

Log miles for Troop Support

The first 2021 SAAPM event is the Teal Ribbon Relay, which kicks off on April 1 and runs throughout the month. 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 1,026 miles. This is the total distance connecting each DLA major subordinate command in the continental United States.

Participants can report their individual weekly progress by using a tracker and email their results to Ingrao every Friday at gina.ingrao@dla.mil. 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, which will be presented to that MSC’s commander, Ingrao said.

Teal Tuesdays and Trivia

Tuesdays will offer two different opportunities to participate in awareness events throughout the month.

Each Tuesday in April, the workforce is invited to participate in SAAPM Weekly Trivia, featuring different themes and questions. Answers should be emailed directly to Ingrao, and answers will be displayed on teal ribbons in Building 45 once the workforce returns to the office.

The trivia questions will also be published in the Public Affairs Weekly Roundup emails sent every Friday, as well as the names and answers of some of the previous week’s respondents.

Tuesdays in April will also be Teal Tuesdays, as the workforce is encouraged to wear teal 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.

Virtual Denim Day events

International Denim Day is acknowledged every year on April 28. This year, employees are asked to wear denim and submit their photos to Ingrao.

In addition, a guest speaker from the Philadelphia Rape Crisis Center will be the guest speaker during a virtual Lunch and Learn session. A time and link to view the event will be sent out later this month, Ingrao said.

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.

“Participation in these virtual events throughout the month of April shows that DLA Troop Support stands with survivors of sexual violence, and that we won’t tolerate it, whether it’s in person or online,” Ingrao said. “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.