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Learning resiliency after sexual assault through Jiu Jitsu

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Noah Tancer
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing

U.S. Airmen, assigned to the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing, and U.S. Soldiers assigned to Task Force Hurricane came together on June 21, for an Army taught Jiu-Jitsu class, sponsored by the 378th Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office, at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We don’t talk about male sexual violence in the military often enough,” said Capt. Maria Castle, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator with the 378th AEW. “In the military sexual assaults against males have their own challenges with the victim. Whether that's hyper-masculinity, fear of reporting or questioning on what that assault meant to them from their identity point of view, it can be very challenging for male victims of sexual assault to come forward and talk about the assault and what it did to them.”

The class was open to anyone on PSAB no matter their gender or branch of service.

“Anyone on the base was more than welcome to come, participate and support this program and this event,” said Castle. “Men or women, it didn’t matter; it was open to anyone interested in learning more about the men's campaign.”

To the question of why this event was focused on Jiu-Jitsu, Capt. Oscar Perez, the officer-in-charge of the theater security cooperation with Task Force Hurricane, responded, “Because like life, no matter what position you are stuck in, there is always a way out.”

The joint force class was put together to bring awareness to and destigmatize the widespread yet unspoken male sexual assault in the military. Male or female, a victim of sexual assault or violence no matter the branch can visit the 378th AEW SAPR office, for either a restricted or unrestricted report to get the help they need their way.