'GOT CONSENT?' T-shirts bolster awareness



by Kelly Deichert
Air University Public Affairs


8/5/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team's latest campaign is off to a running start at Maxwell.

The sexual assault response coordinator, or SARC, and victim advocates distributed "Got Consent?" T-shirts and information during the 5-kilometer warrior run July 29 at the Maxwell Fitness Center.

"We want them to live the message," said LaNesa Howard, the SARC. "We think if they wear the T-shirt, people will ask about it."

For the SAPR team, the T-shirts are a visual reminder of the importance of sexual assault awareness to the Air Force mission. They distributed more than 300 blue, black and pink T-shirts to raise awareness of getting consent before engaging in sexual activity.

"We're not just here for the victims," Howard said. "We're here to help people who have been misguided and given the wrong message."

The SAPR team carried a banner stating the "Got Consent?" campaign is in keeping with the Air Force core values, "Integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do."

The 42nd Security Forces Squadron was the first unit to request the T-shirts. Master Sgt. Marvin Fleeting, acting first sergeant, said the Airmen all wore the T-shirts during the run to make a strong statement of support.

"We are charged with enforcing the law and keeping our Air Force community and family safe, so our voices are the ones that need to be heard the loudest," said Fleeting. "Never be afraid to say no and most certainly never be afraid to ask for consent."

The T-shirts were quite popular around Maxwell that day.

"We have a bunch of people wearing them," said Senior Master Sgt. Scott Ely of 42nd Contracting Squadron. He requested the T-shirts in advance of the run to show support.
Wearing the shirt helps spread the message, "make sure you have consent," said Airman 1st Class Corey Hooper, also from the contracting squadron.

Civilians were part of the campaign, too. More than 150 42nd Force Support Squadron and 42nd Medical Group employees wore the T-shirts throughout the day.

"A lot of them wanted to support the cause. That was an ongoing message we got from civilians," said Capt. Michelle McKenny, the deputy SARC. "First Lt. Chasmine Jones from the FSS led the way with that effort."

For information about the SAPR program, call 953-7116 or 4416. The 24-hour emergency hotline is 953-8696.