Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA -- Congratulations to Shacquanda Anquoine Clark for her recognition as the United States Marine Corps recipient of the 2017 Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award (MARADMIN 481/17). The award is intended to recognize those whose work has been particularly noteworthy and demonstrates an innovative approach to the primary prevention of sexual assault.
Clark is a sexual assault prevention and response victim advocate for Marine Corps Installations National Capital Region?Marine Corps Base Quantico (MCINCR-MCBQ) and provides direct care support services to victims of sexual assault and community outreach initiatives for all subordinate commands and tenant activities. Clark advocated for a transformation of traditional approaches to prevention by expanding prevention tools and educational efforts targeted toward supporting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Asexual (LGBTQA) community aboard the installation.
Each October, the Department of Defense (DoD) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) office sponsors recognition for an individual (military or civilian), group, or unit from each military service, component or organization, to include Reserve Officer Training Corps detachments, for their work in preventing sexual assault. Awards go to those who have contributed or developed an innovative sexual assault primary prevention program, policy, or practice on an installation, in a deployed environment, to a reserve component, or to a state (for National Guard Bureau personnel on Title 32 status).
“I started this journey in hopes that Marines would use the techniques they learn during annual trainings and remember that the crime of sexual assault has no boundaries of race, gender, religion or sexual preference.” Clark said. “Education and training to increase awareness of the struggles that many service members who identify as LBGTQA and victims of same-sex sexual assault face daily was a priority.”
Clark’s initiatives had a resounding impact by debunking gender and sexuality myths, generating open discussions and scenario-based options for Marines in situations that may lead to an assault, educating senior leadership on the barriers to reporting sexual assaults by those who are gender ascribed and introducing LGBTQA-friendly terminology into prevention training.
Clark’s efforts emphasized that the SAPR program is a viable option for the identified population, that prevention efforts are universal and that every victim of sexual assault will be treated with dignity and respect. Her foresight to reach this community has started the dialogue to discuss primary prevention strategies that are proactive and foster an environment that is inclusive, understanding and welcoming to Marines of all sexual orientations.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and would like information about the support services available, please contact the DoD Safe Helpline at 1-877-995-5247, the MCINCR-MCBQ 24/7 Sexual Assault Support Line at 703-432-9999, or the MCINCR-MCBQ SAPR office at 703-784-3557 during business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For vital information about recovery and resources, please visit www.SafeHelpline.org.