MACDILL AIR FOCE BASE, Fla. --
Each April, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida hosts a variety of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response events to create awareness for SAPR month.
However, for the first time ever, MacDill hosted a scavenger hunt on base April 27, 2018, that was set up like the TV show, "The Amazing Race".
“I thought the idea of a scavenger hunt would be a fun way to create awareness of helping agencies located on base,” said Senior Master Sgt. Larnell Smith, a victim advocate assigned to the 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
During the scavenger hunt, multiple teams participated by looking for clues located at twelve different helping agencies around base.
“We had teal flags and clues located at the chapel, family advocacy office, legal office, military family readiness center, special victims counsel office, mental health office, and with some of the first sergeants,” said Smith.
Team MacDill continually supports the SAPR cause with a variety of advocacy services on base for victims to reach out to and offers a lot of people willing to help.
“SAPR month is important because these are serious issues that are still occurring in today’s society,” said Tech. Sgt. Alyssa Miller, a victim advocate assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron. “Sexual assault has affected so many people, even people we know, but just don’t talk about it.”
Throughout the scavenger hunt, the message and mission of SAPR was further emphasized, and education was one way to get everyone involved.
“I want to help motivate Airmen to understand the importance and impact of SAPR and what it represents,” said Miller. “We need to bring sexual assault prevention and response from the back of people’s mind to the forefront to where people are cognizant of their actions and also, to know there are outlets for victims to receive help.”
What some people don’t know is that it doesn’t even need to be a present issue and that these advocacy services are here to help victims with any form of sexual assault regardless of when it happened.
“We support past and present cases for sexual assault, even cases that happened before people joined the military,” said Debbra Hooks, a sexual assault response coordinator for MacDill Air Force Base.
Whether someone is a victim of sexual assault or knows someone who was affected by sexual assault or sexual harassment of any kind, MacDill wants to ensure nobody is going through this alone and if needed, that they have options to receive whatever help and support they feel comfortable with.
“We are their voice and we host SAPR month events to let them know that we fully support them,” said Hooks.
For those who are a survivor of sexual assault and wish to find out the options available to them, you can email email@example.com, visit http://www.macdill.af.mil/SAPR, or call the SARC Hotline, which is available 24/7 at 813-828-7272 (SARC).