Joint Base Andrews will kick off Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with a proclamation signing followed by a 5K “color with consent” run at the West Side Fitness Center here, April 3 at 8 a.m.

The signing will dedicate the month of April to the prevention of sexual violence. Every year, this month is recognized to raise awareness about sexual violence and to help educate the community on how to reduce the risk of it occurring.

“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to ending sexual violence,” said Kari Merski, Joint Base Andrews sexual response program manager. “Whether it’s saying something when you witness something that doesn’t seem right or whether it’s supporting victims and survivors.”

Participants at the run will receive the 2018 SAAPM T-shirt, while supplies last, and take a pledge to protect the people of JBA and the mission. Every Tuesday during the month of April, service members and civilians are encouraged to wear the SAAPM T-shirt as part of their uniform or civilian attire. During the run, participants will have the option to throw teal colored powder, the official color of SAAPM, on themselves as well as run through designated color stations, to show their support for the prevention of sexual violence.

Throughout the month of April, survivors are invited to share their story and challenge the old and painful cliché, “what were you wearing” at a survivors art installation display recounting real stories and the clothes worn. Share your story at #WWYW, or anonymously at

Other SAAPM events during April include a showing of the documentary, “The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault”, at the base theater, April 18 at 10 a.m. Dr. Rebecca Campbell will be at the showing to explain the underlying neurobiology of traumatic events and the resulting emotional and physical symptoms.

Stop by April 20 at 8 a.m. to watch teams in a friendly softball competition as JBA raises awareness of local resources during the final SAAPM event. If you are interested in playing or want to volunteer to umpire, sign up at by April 13.

To speak with the sexual assault program manager call 301-981-1443.The sexual assault hotline can be reached at 301-981-7272.