Sailors Encouraged to Participate in Study on Sexual Assault


Story Number: NNS090630-09Release Date: 6/30/2009 4:41:00 PM
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By Bruce Moody, Fleet and Family Support Program, Commander, Navy Installations Command

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy encourages active-duty Sailors to participate in a sexual assault study to assess the effectiveness of the Navy's Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program.

The Office of the Naval Inspector General (IG) is conducting the survey, which is available at www.ig.navy.mil/sastudy.htm. The survey was designed for active-duty personnel, is confidential, anonymous, and will be available for participation through Sept. 30.

Naval IG teams are also visiting installations around the fleet through the end of September. As part of the visits, they are facilitating focus group discussions to gain more insight from a fleet perspective, about the occurrences and command support during incidences of sexual assault. Each focus group will be composed of a cross-section of personnel and consist of approximately 20 people from various rank categories.

The Navy's SAVI Program is managed by Commander, Navy Installations Command's Fleet and Family Support Program. The Fleet and Family Support Program manages a wide variety of programs, including SAVI. These programs enhance Sailor readiness and family preparedness, directly contributing to mission readiness.

The Navy is the first of the armed service to have a dedicated program for sexual assault awareness, prevention, and intervention. Established in 1994, the program has recently shifted more focus toward prevention and is incorporating new initiatives based on civilian best practices and recent research.

"Sexual assault is a crime and will not be tolerated," said Paul Finch, SAVI's program manager. "It is a criminal act, incompatible with the Navy's core values; it dramatically affects morale and operational readiness. Senior leadership is committed to an effective and responsive SAVI program in order to ensure prevention, quality victim care and response and to holding offenders accountable."

In working toward this commitment, the Navy is sustaining a robust sexual assault prevention and response policy, identifying and eliminating barriers to reporting, ensuring that care is available and accessible to victims of sexual assault, and providing continuous, relevant, and effective training and education to all service members. All Navy commands have a 24/7 sexual assault response capability focused on victim support. Commanders ensure that female and male sexual assault victims (or survivors) have access to the assistance and resources to meet their needs and to provide a safe and professional work environment.


For more news from Commander, Navy Installations Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/cni/.

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