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Naval Hospital Bremerton Chalk it up for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention

Letting the chalk do the talk…Hospitalman Racan Aqrabawi, one of Naval Hospital Bremerton’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response victim advocates, lends a cursive hand to help raise awareness on April 6, 2018, by contributing to the annual colorful, eye-catching and hand-drawn ‘Chalk the Walk’ display. The ‘Chalk the Walk’ featured sketches, diagrams and graphics of statistics, information and short narratives concerning sexual assault awareness for staff, patients and visitors, and is part of the command’s commitment to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (Official Navy photo by Douglas H. Stutz, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs).

Story by Douglas Stutz 

Naval Hospital Bremerton

Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) victim advocates (VA) were not about to let a little inclement weather get in the way for the annual ‘Chalk the Walk’ display.

The colorful, eye-catching, hand-drawn exhibit showcased the command’s commitment to Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) on April 6, 2018.

There were sketches, diagrams and graphics of statistics, information and short narratives concerning sexual assault awareness and prevention covering the command’s sky bridge.

“This is important to raise awareness and let people know they can and should intervene when necessary. But some people still think it is taboo to even talk about. Even with general military training, some are still uncertain what to do and how to respond. Something like this definitely makes a talking point. It’s hard to miss. People see and share,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Michael Savage, NHB VA.

The ‘Chalk the Walk’ display is just one of upcoming SAPR events at NHB throughout the entire month to continuously remind staff on sexual assault awareness and prevention, promote awareness of SAPR program resources, and continue to focus on the goal of eliminating sexual assault and harassment occurrences within the Department of Defense.

Some of the chalked display included messages such as ‘Protect our People, Protect our Mission,’ ‘No Means No,’ ‘Know your Part, Do Your Part,’ and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner ‘SAFE’ Helpline 877-995-5247.

“This is our proactive approach that our continual focus is about prevention. The ‘Chalk the Walk’ display is an attention-grabber and it’s a powerful statement full of power statements. We hope that when people pass by they read some of them and that the statements stick with them. We are all about getting the word out,” stated Lt. Stacy Uzueta, NHB SAPR and VA coordinator.

Along with the “Chalk the Walk” display, NHB will also host an informational table manned by the command’s victim advocates to engage with staff April 9 to 13 on the Quarterdeck, a SAPR team informal meet and greet on April 13 and participation in Naval Base Kitsap’s SAAPM challenge on April 27 at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor.

NHB’s SAPR program, as well as SAFE capability, provide a balance of focused education, comprehensive response, compassionate advocacy, and just adjudication in order to promote professionalism, respect, and trust, while preserving Navy mission readiness. They are also comprehensive programs that reinforce a culture of prevention, response, and accountability for the safety, dignity, and well-being of Sailors and Marines.

The Department of the Navy does not tolerate sexual assault.

The Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) directed military treatment facility like NHB five years ago to establish a multidisciplinary team – such as SAPR VAs and SAFE providers – to be able to handle any type of sexual assault case with a staff trained and ready to provide timely and appropriate medical care as soon as possible.

On a regular basis, NHB ensures that sexual assault education is provided to staff members. There is also an photo board on the first floor displaying the command’s victim advocates, so staff as well as patients and visitors are aware of who they can turn to in case they have questions or need help.

Additionally, as recent evidence point out, there’s even visual handiwork on display to help to spread the word, one chalk mark at a time.

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