More than 50 Thunderbolts gathered at the base headquarters April 3 to mark the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Luke Air Force Base.
Joice Jones, 56th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault and Prevention Response Office coordinator, started the ceremony by thanking victim advocates and wing leaders for their care and support. One victim advocate in particular, Tech. Sgt. Mitzi Ebensteiner, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron individual protective equipment NCO-in-charge, quoted the victim advocate’s statement.
“The survivor brings hope to other survivors that they will be heard and they do matter,” she said. “So remember, your words and actions let survivors know if you are someone they can talk to about what they may have carried inside, sometimes silently, for years.”
Brig. Gen. Mike Rothstein, 56th FW commander, told attendees a story illustrating how sexual assaults affect the victim and those around them. He encouraged supervisors and leaders to understand the problem and rallied every Thunderbolt to help deter future incidents.
The ceremony was capped off by a signing of the SAAM commemorative ribbon led by Rothstein and wing leaders.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office is providing mandated prevention training every Wednesday to all active-duty members and civilians who supervise them. For more information on training or other ways to get involved, call (623) 856-4878.