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‘Dagger’ Soldiers host cake competition

By J. Parker Roberts | 1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS | April 22, 2016

     To help keep the themes of the month fresh in the minds of “Dagger” brigade Soldiers, each of the brigade’s battalions baked an entry for a Sexual Assault Awareness Month cake competition April 14 at Fort Riley’s Barlow Theater.

     Graded on flavor and theme, each of the seven cakes was designed to raise awareness about individual responsibilities in the prevention of sexual assault and harassment. Many used a popular analogy involving tea to illustrate the concept of consent.

     A public service announcement posted on YouTube last November by the Thames Valley Police in England attempted to explain consent by comparing a sexual encounter to tea.

     The video “Tea and Consent” suggests viewers consider asking a person if they would like cup of tea. One would only make the person a cup of tea if they clearly and enthusiastically say yes.

     The PSA says if the person declines the tea, no tea should be offered. Additionally, the person is unsure if they want tea or say they do but later change their mind, tea should not be forced upon the person and the person offering the tea should not become upset.

     To watch the video in its entirety, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwvrxVavnQ.

     “I try to incorporate different training, so it’s not the same training all the time,” said Staff Sgt. Bethany Guzman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, the brigade’s victim advocate.

     The brigade conducted bystander intervention training before the winners of the cake contest were announced.

     Guzman said the Army leaders stress the importance of bystander intervention.

     “We need people to intervene,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter what rank you are — if you see it, stop it.”

     The training included videos and examples of ways Soldiers can prevent sexual assaults. Tactics discussed included direct intervention, distracting the aggressor and enlisting others to help.

     Guzman said the battalions worked hard on their entries for the competition.

     “They did awesome,” she said. “There were a lot of teams that put 110 percent into it. They made everything from scratch, there were different layers that were different flavors … it was way more than I expected.”

     The 82nd Engineer Battalion took first place, earning those Soldiers a four-day pass. The 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, took second place and a three-day pass, while the 299th Brigade Support Battalion made the third-place cake and earned a 9 a.m. work call.

     “We chose to make a teacup, representing ‘tea consent,’” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Hanson, Company A, 1st Bn., 18th Inf. Regt., one of three Soldiers who worked on the second-place cake. “Everybody should know consent is a big thing, and (Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention) is important within the military.”