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Barksdale proclaims it’s stand against sexual assault

Col. Mark Dmytryszyn, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, signs a Sexual Assault Awareness Month proclamation at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021.

Col. Mark Dmytryszyn, 2nd Bomb Wing commander, signs a Sexual Assault Awareness Month proclamation at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021. The Barksdale Sexual Assault Prevention & Response office hosted the signing while encouraging base leadership and local leaders to come together to help spread awareness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

Participants in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K run through the finish line at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021.

Participants in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K run through the finish line at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021. The Barksdale Sexual Assault Prevention & Response office hosted a proclamation signing and 5K run to help educate and spread awareness of sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

Participants in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K run to the finish line at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021.

Participants in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K run to the finish line at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021. The Barksdale Sexual Assault Prevention & Response office hosted a proclamation signing and 5K run to help educate and spread awareness of sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

Lo Walker, Bossier City mayor, signs a Sexual Assault Awareness Month proclamation at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021.

Lo Walker, Bossier City mayor, signs a Sexual Assault Awareness Month proclamation at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021. Local community leaders were encouraged to come on base and sign proclamations alongside base leadership to take a stand against sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

A participant in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K runs to the finish line at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021.

A participant in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K runs to the finish line at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021. The Barksdale Sexual Assault Prevention & Response office hosted a proclamation signing and 5K run to help educate and spread awareness of sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

A participant in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K run nears the halfway checkpoint at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021.

A participant in the Sexual Assault Awareness Month 5K run nears the halfway checkpoint at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, April 2, 2021. The Barksdale Sexual Assault Prevention & Response office hosted a proclamation signing and 5K run to help educate and spread awareness of sexual assault. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chase Sullivan)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the Department of Defense. The Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (SAPR) office at Barksdale kicked off the beginning of the month with a bang, as they hosted a proclamation signing followed by a 5K run.

Barksdale leadership, base personnel and civilian leaders from the surrounding communities signed a proclamation, taking a stand against sexual assault and its unacceptable nature in our communities.

“The proclamation is a way for our community partners and our agencies on base to take a stand against sexual assault,” said Keyana James, SAPR victim advocate and master of ceremonies for the event.

A DOD tradition, the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force all sign similar proclamations every April to help spread awareness of sexual assault and the impact it has in the armed forces.

James says that she loves educating people. Sexual assault is happening. We are going to open up the office and get it out there that we’re going to raise awareness this month, said James.

Immediately following the proclamation signing, approximately 125 runners lined up for a 5K run through the base.

An arch of teal and white balloons marked the starting and finishing line in the Hoban Hall parking lot. During the run, participants passed several checkpoints where they were showered in teal or yellow chalk to mark their progress.

“The dynamic of everyone coming out together as one unit, giving it their all; to run, compete, and build teamwork while building each other up meant a lot to me,” said Airman 1st Class Elijah Sims, a runner and participant in the 5K run.

With proclamations signed, teamwork being built upon and the first of many events planned for this month by the SAPR office completed, April looks to be a promising month for educating and raising awareness about sexual assault.

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