Rosann Berg displays the T-shirt that she created as part of the 2016 Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month activities held during the month of April at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research April 22. Berg won first place from eight entries that were judged in the T-shirt creation contest. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
11 MAY 2016
The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research observed Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month throughout April which kicked-off with the signing of a proclamation April 4 by the USAISR Commander, Col. (Dr.) Michael Wirt.
A portion of the proclamation signed by Wirt read: “We are committing ourselves to address this issue by preventing sexual harassment and sexual assaults from occurring through education, providing support for the victims, and prosecuting perpetrators. We at the USAISR have placed sexual harassment/assault awareness on the forefront and encourage each staff member to take a stand in the ‘Eliminate Sexual Assault, Know Your Part, Do Your Part’ campaign.”
According to Maj. Kristi Morris, USAISR Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Chief Financial Officer it is important to observe April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month to shine a light on a problem within the Department of Defense, Army, and our society as a whole.
“The Army has made major strides in recent years to increase awareness and prevention of sexual assault, but we still have a way to go,” said Morris. “April gives us a chance to really increase our advocacy and outreach efforts, ensuring that all of our Army community members are aware of prevention efforts and resources available.”
Several events were held throughout the month to include a Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Leadership Professional Development session; a t-shirt creation contest, and a denim day when staff members were encouraged to wear jeans to work in protest of an important Italian court case of sexual assault. For the t-shirt creation contest, staff members were asked to create a t-shirt that embodied this current Army SHARP theme “Not in MY squad. Not in OUR Army. We are trusted Professionals.”
The three judges for the t-shirt creation contest were Wirt, Sgt. Maj. James Devine and 1st Sgt. Natasha Tsantles. After a lengthy deliberation, the trio selected the t-shirt created by Rosann Berg the executive assistant at the Dental and Craniofacial Trauma Research and Tissue Regeneration task area.
“Incorporating the current Army SHARP theme for the t-shirt contest was a must because sexual assault and harassment prevention has to start and the lowest level of our military structure,” said Wirt. “Every entry was a winner, but unfortunately we could only select one first prize.”
Morris emphasized that people we can eliminate and prevent sexual assault and harassment by taking responsibility for themselves, as well as their friends and coworkers.
“By stepping up and speaking out against something that you see that just isn’t right, you have the power to potentially prevent a sexual assault—in your squad or section, in the ISR, and in our Army,” she said. “It is a huge responsibility and takes a tremendous amount of courage, but we all potentially have that power.”