With April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Naval Air Station Meridian hosted a special event to bring awareness and show support for victims of sexual assault. “We’re all close together and we all work with each other, so, we’re all basically family when we come together. If someone hurts our family, it’s best to come around and be there with them and help them get through it,” said ABE2 Ryan Vess. Walk A Mile in His/ Her Shoes is an annual event where sailors and marines walk a mile around one of their tracks.
“Well, sadly, sexual assault is a crime that happens on a daily basis. The military is committed in making sure victims of sexual assault are receiving the services they deserve, and, foremost, to prevent sexual assault from happening,” said Diana Shields who is the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at NAS Meridian.
Not only did they carry the theme of solidarity through walking, all the commands had a shoe competition where they each decorated a pair of flip-flops. “For the shoe competition, all the commands come together and decorate the shoes to show their support for sexual assault awareness. With having everybody out here, this helps train them and teach them and helps keep everyone aware of what’s going on,” said ABE2 Vess. According to Shields, all of these sailors and marines receive an extensive forty hour training week where they are trained how to interact, be culturally sensitive, dnd how to protect the privacy of sexual assault victims.