USS Abraham Lincoln’s (CVN 72) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) team sponsored a special track and field day on the Huntington Hall field April 22 in support of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM).
The day kicked off with Lincoln Sailors walking in silence, to raise awareness of the silence victims of sexual assault often endure. SAPR representatives also set up a booth to provide Sailors with information on the program and how it can assist victims.
Throughout the afternoon, Lincoln Sailors competed against Sailors from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in multiple track and field events.
“We have more people showing up this year than we did last year,” said Shannon Minor, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for the region. “Every year there has been an increase in participants, so I am pleased with the support that the Lincoln has given for this event; it’s a great turnout.”
Participants also had the opportunity to take part in The Clothesline Project by writing messages or drawings to create a visual display of shirts to graphically depict the impact of violence faced by both male and female victims of abuse.
“The Clothesline Project gives people the opportunity to read raw feelings and emotions of what the victims are going through and thinking about,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 1st Class Kevin Snow, a SAPR advocate. “It also lets others give words of encouragement. The main takeaway is that you are never alone; there is a large group of people who are ready and willing to help.”
This event is one of many scheduled during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise awareness about sexual violence, educate Sailors on how to prevent violence and what help is available should a sexual assault occur.
“Events like this help spread the information and awareness so that people can see who their SARC is and meet other SAPR victim advocates,” Minor said. “We all come together to agree that everyone is against sexual assault and to learn how we can intervene to prevent it from happening.”
Lincoln is currently undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. It is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo a RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically-advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.
Image: US Navy