WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Sea Systems Command employees recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), participating in National Denim Day, April 25.
National Denim Day started in 1999 as a result of an Italian Supreme Court case that overturned and dismissed a rape sentence. The judge argued "because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them, and by removing the jeans it was no longer rape but considered consensual sex." The women in the Italian Parliament protested the verdict by wearing jeans to work. NAVSEA employees, civilian and military, were encouraged to wear denim jeans and teal and purple attire to raise awareness and educate on the topics of rape and sexual assault.
"Denim Day is an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity against sexual assault," said NAVSEA Vice Commander Rear Adm. John Orzalli. "Rather than just extend the invitation to participate to just the military employees, we also opened it up to civilians because the workplace is where attitudes are set."
Joining the rest of the Navy, NAVSEA conducted weekly sexual assault awareness training in April in keeping with the Department of Defense theme "Hurts One, Affects All." The sessions are part of mandatory training for all Sailors.
The theme of the final training was "We Will Not Tolerate Sexual Assault." The message brings awareness to the fact that everyone in the military, regardless of service or pay grade is impacted by rape and sexual assault. The Navy has a "zero tolerance" policy and the training encouraged employees to not only be responsible for their own behavior but to not enable the inappropriate behavior of others.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.
Help raise awareness by joining the conversation on social media using #SAAM.
For more information about the prevention of sexual assault, visit http://www.sapr.navy.mil.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.