'Gold Eagle' Emphasizes the Importance of SAVI


Story Number: NNS080806-16Release Date: 8/6/2008 2:36:00 PM
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By Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Brandon Monette, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- A team of facilitators from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) made a proactive stand against sexual assault and harassment July 28-31, with an all-hands Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) training event, held at the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center in Newport News.

The training was aimed at reinforcing information concerning sexual assault reporting procedures and prevention techniques.

"We equip our crew with a wealth of training and information periodically, and we expect our Sailors to be proactive in avoiding SAVI-related situations," said Senior Chief Quartermaster (SW) Marie Dumka, the command's official SAVI point of contact.

"That means not engaging in questionable behavior, telling dirty jokes, and being completely professional at work all the time."

The SAVI program offers prevention education, victim intervention services, and comprehensive victim advocate and command point of contact training. An intervention plan is also implemented into the program to support victims and their families if they experience traumatic issues that often follow in sexual assault cases.

Sailors in attendance said everyone on the ship can take something away from regular SAVI-related training seminars.

"The SAVI training was very informative for everybody," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Lamont Parker. "I didn't know the command and program did so much for sexual assault victims. I learned a lot from this course, and now I can pass on the word to others."

During the training, Sailors learned statistics and commonly misconstrued facts about sexual assault and its victims.

"I didn't know about all the reporting procedures before I came to this training, or that 85 percent of assaults involve alcohol," said Electronics Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Jeffrey Morgan. "The information was extensive, but also very enlightening."

Sailors were quizzed on their knowledge after the training by playing "SAVI Jeopardy". Following the game, crew members had an opportunity to voice their comments, questions, and concerns on the topics.

"I actually enjoyed the training," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Apprentice William Frazier. "The crew was really involved, and we were able to give our input on what we knew or didn't know about sexual assault. It was much more effective to give us training in such an interactive manner."

According to Dumka, the training was an opportunity to educate the entire crew in the SAVI program. Dumka said sexual assault is a serious issue and one that requires continuous education. She added that it is very beneficial to all Sailors, especially Junior Sailors, and will hopefully impact them and the decisions they make throughout their careers, and beyond.

"Above all, we want to keep teaching the crew about the SAVI program and what it has to offer," said Dumka. "We want the training to be enjoyable, so that Sailors take the information from the training, implement it into their own lives, and spread it to others. Plus, we just want them to know if anything happens, we're always here to help them."

Carl Vinson is undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year lifecycle.

During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.

For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.

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