NORFOLK (NNS) -- In recognition of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Norfolk hosted the inaugural Sexual Assault Victim Empowerment Day (VED) on Wednesday, Apr. 24.
During his opening remarks, NIOC Norfolk Executive Officer, Capt. Eric Dietz, focused both on the command's and the Navy's dedication to the health and welfare of victims of sexual assault.
"Our Sailors are committed to the mission and supporting each other every day and this extends not only to supporting victims of sexual assault but also to sexual assault prevention," Dietz said.
He further noted that the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program's focus on bystander intervention-"Shipmates helping shipmates"-is critical to the elimination of sexual assault.
These comments echo Secretary Hagel's emphasis on proactive involvement of service members in his News Release on SAAPM dated Apr. 2: "We watch out for each other and respect each other...we own it...we'll solve it...together."
The event was coordinated and sponsored by the NIOC Norfolk SAPR team. SAPR Victim Advocate, Petty Officer 1st Class Dorothy Jimenez, stated that "VED allowed NIOC Norfolk Sailors to experience a simulation of the sexual assault investigation and adjudication processes."
"[This event] provided valuable information on sexual assault response procedures, while emphasizing the importance of bystander intervention as a preventative measure," she went on to say.
During the event, over 100 NIOC Norfolk Sailors walked through scenarios based on real sexual assault cases, learning from subject matter experts on several aspects of the sexual assault investigation, adjudication, and advocacy process.
In addition to the SAPR team, presenters included U.S. TENTH Fleet Chaplain, Capt. Kalas McAlexander; Naval Station Norfolk Sexual Assault Response Coordinators; a counselor from Fleet and Family Support Center; a Special Agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service SAPR Task Force; and a Forensic Nurse Examiner from Naval Hospital Portsmouth.
SAAPM occurs annually in April to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual violence through use of special events and public education.
NIOC Norfolk is a subordinate command of FLTCYBERCOM and comprises Task Force 1030 of the U.S. 10th Fleet.
As the Navy's Center of Excellence for Information Operations, NIOC Norfolk advances Information Operations war fighting capabilities for Naval and Joint Forces by providing operationally focused training and planning support; developing doctrine, tactics, techniques, and procedures; advocating requirements in support of future effects-based warfare; and managing functional data for Information Operations.
FLTCYBERCOM serves as the Navy Component Command to U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Cyber Command, providing operational employment of the Navy's cyber, network operations, information operations, cryptologic, and space forces as well as the Navy's Service Cryptologic Component commander to the National Security Agency/Central Security Service.
Tenth Fleet is the operational arm of FLTCYBERCOM and executes its mission set through the same maritime warfighting organizations and mechanisms that the Navy uses in other warfighting domains.
Help raise awareness by joining the conversation on social media using #SexualAssault and #SAAPM.
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For more news from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/FCC/C10F/.