JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
By now, you’ve probably seen a banner or a yard sign that says, “UNAFRAID” at one of the Joint Base San Antonio locations.
You may have even called the telephone number listed on the sign (210-808-8986) to find out what it means. If you did, you found out that the JBSA Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention office is promoting a campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month in April titled, “Unafraid.”
This campaign compliments the Department of Defense campaign “Protecting our People Protects the Mission. Stop Sexual Assault.”
In the military, we defend our country with fearless dedication and we’re committed to its security. Whether it’s a humanitarian or a strategic mission, men and women in the armed forces help others at home and around the world every day.
We are trusted to protect others that may be in harm’s way, to step in as necessary and help others.
According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, the military is the most trusted institution in the nation. We are trusted because our nation is confident that we try to create or maintain a way of life that feels safe so others can live their lives in peace and freedom. To maintain these privileges, we are willing to lay our life down if necessary.
If we are willing to lay down our lives defending our country, then what stops us from protecting each other from sexual assault? If we are so committed to helping others at home or in another country, then why not when we are out with friends, at a club, party, or other social gatherings?
Are we afraid to act if we see someone in trouble? Are we afraid to speak up if we see a potential dangerous situation?
The military is full of some the most honorable people in our country, unfortunately there are those who choose to harm others. We need to have the same level of commitment in defending our fellow military members against sexual assault as we do in defending our country. We need to speak up, step in, protect. We need to be “Unafraid.”
During Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month, or SAAPM, there will be many events promoting awareness and educating the community on sexual violence. There will be information tables set up every week at each location at exchanges, fitness centers, dining facilities and shoppettes. Feel free to stop by and chat with one the staff members or volunteers to learn more.
To report a sexual assault, call the JBSA 24/7 Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline at 210-808-7272 or the Department of Defense Safe Helpline at 877-995-5247.