During November, the 32nd Medical Brigade Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention team coordinated a drive to collect basic care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, creams, soaps and more for the Rape Crisis Center for Children and Adults in San Antonio.

Soldiers and civilians from the 32nd Medical Brigade, U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, U.S. Army Health Readiness Center of Excellence, presented seven large plastic containers containing 2,200 much-needed items to representatives from the center Dec. 2 at the brigade classroom in building 902 on Fort Sam Houston.

“Every quarter, events are held to raise sexual assault awareness and prevention,” said Nykita Riley, 32nd Medical Brigade Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program manager. “To coincide with the month of giving thanks, we decided to give thanks to the local rape crisis center in San Antonio.

“Part of the SHARP program is to also liaison and collaborate with our civilian counterparts,” Riley said. “Anytime one of our Soldiers, family members or civilians report to a sexual assault team, the local hospitals are receiving not only military victim advocates but civilian victim advocates. Many times there are individuals seeking these services and they don’t have some of these basic care items.”

“This is more than what we have ever received. You all went way above and beyond,” said rape crisis center community relations director Chloe Power. “Thank you for the work you do, not only serving our country, but also helping as victim advocates.”

Power said the items are given to clients who may come to the center for counseling or to clients they meet at the hospitals, or for case management clients, who usually don’t think they need them.

“For us to provide them with these items is a huge help, especially during the holidays,” Power added.

Power said the Rape Crisis Center for Children and Adults serves approximately 1,200 clients per year providing counseling services. She said 20 to 25 percent are active duty or related to active duty.

Power said the rape crisis center is not a shelter, but a comprehensive facility that takes care of crisis intervention, offers free counseling needs for anyone affected by sexual assault – whether survivors, family or friends – and provides educational needs about preventing sexual violence.

“As members of the community, we can’t do enough to thank you for what you do for our Soldiers and their families,” said Lt. Col. Michael Sauer, 32nd Medical Brigade executive officer.

According to the center’s website (https://rapecrisis.com), the center dates back to the mid-1970s, when community leaders, activists and survivors of sexual assault had a vision to create a nonprofit agency that would support victims of sexual assault in San Antonio and Bexar County. For more information about the center, call 349-7273.