SAN DIEGO – An unprecedented 600 Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) participated in Naval Air Station Coronado’s Sexual Assualt Awareness Month (SAAM) 5K run, April 29.
The annual event began in 2011 with a little over 100 participants. This year, NAS Coronado’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) team hosted more than 2,500 participants.
“This is our culminating event for the Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” said Theodore Roosevelt’s SAPR point-of-contact, Lt. Jennifer Yedoni. “We supported Denim Day and hosted our Clothesline Campaign.”
Theodore Roosevelt participated in Denim Day to raise awareness of sexual assault and rape. The day is recognized in protest of a 1998 Italian Supreme Court ruling that resulted in an overturned rape conviction on the basis that the victim’s jeans were so tight that she must have had to help the alleged offender remove them. The ruling stated that her assistance meant consent. Theodore Roosevelt Sailors, along with more than 20 states across the nation, recognize Denim Day as an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes about sexual assault.
“We hosted our Denim Day, April 15, of this month,” said another of Theodore Roosevelt’s point-of-contacts, Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate Regita Moore. “We also hosted our Clothesline Campaign where we decorated t-shirts to bring awareness to issues of violence against women. Each shirt represented a different form of abuse. This run brings a close to our awareness month. This is one of the largest showings in the history of the event. This is an opportunity for all of the support systems to come out, outline the services they provide. It’s amazing to see the support because what hurts one, affects all.”
NAS Coronado’s SAPR Coordinator, Lori Walsh, said she was very pleased with the outcome of the event.
“It’s important to shed light on this issue,” said Walsh. “It affects more than the person assaulted. It’s really important to have this mass show of support. We’ve hosted a number of events throughout the month. [Theodore Roosevelt], one of our tenant commands, has done an amazing job of showing their support. We’ve never had this many people represented from a carrier before so it’s been a very successful awareness event.”
Engineering department’s Ensign Keith Lafferty came in first place of the Theodore Roosevelt Sailors with a time of 19:25.
“I’ve been doing 5Ks bi-weekly with my division,” said Lafferty. “I wanted the whole division to come run with me so I’m grateful that our Chief Engineer let us all come out here to support for a great cause. I like competing for who I represent. We’re running for TR today and for awareness and for that I’m grateful.”
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danica M. Sirmans, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs
Join the conversation with TR online at http://www.facebook.com/USSTheodoreRooseveltand http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealCVN71. For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.