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Breaking Through Barriers

A picture of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Foster from the 177th Fighter Wing painting a mushroom cloud onto a barrier.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Foster from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing paints a barrier in support of Breaking Through The Barriers: Commit to End Sexual Assault on April 3, 2014 at Atlantic City Air National Guard Base, N.J. The barriers were painted with messages encouraging others to take the right steps to end sexual assault. Foster is from the 177th Civil Engineering Squadron. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Amber Powell/Released)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Achal Amin and Master Sgt. Dreama Heath from the 177th Fighter Wing outlining their message to stop assault on a barrier.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Achal Amin (left) and Master Sgt. Dreama Heath (right) from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing outline their message to stop assault on a barrier in support of Breaking Through The Barriers: Commit to End Sexual Assault on April 3, 2014. The barriers serve to support Sexual Assault Awareness month and will placed around the base for servicemembers to see. Amin and Heath are from the 177th Comptroller Flight. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Amber Powell/Released)

A picture of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Foster from the 177th Fighter Wing paints the words "sexual assault" inside of a painting of a cross hair.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Anthony Foster from the New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Fighter Wing paints "sexual assault" in his crosshairs April 3, 2014 as part of the Breaking Through The Barriers: Commit to End Sexual Assault event. The 177th Civil Engineering Squadron power production shop painted a barrier with a message to end sexual assault in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman Amber Powell/Released)

ATLANTC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. -- Airmen with the 177th Fighter Wing here participated in a barrier painting event on base Thursday to promote putting an end to sexual assault in the military.

Breaking Through the Barriers: Commit to End Sexual Assault, was sponsored by the 177th Fighter Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response team in recognition of April being National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

"Every April, as a Wing, we come together to do an activity that builds morale and takes a stand against sexual assault," said Maj. Toni Memmelaar, the sexual assault response coordinator for the wing.

Unit members from shops including hydraulics, public affairs, finance and power production took time to show off their artistic ability by painting road barriers with their interpretation of this year's theme, "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault."

The completed barriers featured messages promoting the Air Force Core Values, victim advocacy and support, using the wingman concept and putting an end to sexual assault.
Following the event, the barriers will be moved to high-visibility areas throughout the base to further promote awareness, said Memmelaar.

In addition to the barrier painting event, the SAPR team will have an information table set up in the dining hall during April's drill with free giveaways, as well as a petition that unit members can sign as a proclamation to end sexual assault.

"The significant increase in sexual assault education in the past decade has led to an improved work environment, better team morale and more time for service members to focus their resources on completing the mission", said Dr. Andrew Savicky, wing director of psychological health.

Unit members that desire more information on the subject are encouraged to use the Department of Defense's 24/7 safe helpline by calling 877-995-5247, visiting their webpage at www.SafeHelpline.org or by contacting Maj. Memmelaar at 609-385-3671.