Naval Academy Holds Sexual Assault Prevention Stand Down

Story Number: NNS130703-34Release Date: 7/3/2013 2:35:00 PM
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By Jessica Clark, Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- Senior officers at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) led military and civilian personnel in a series of two-hour training sessions during the Navy's sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) stand-down.

The stand-down is part of a DoD-wide effort to eliminate sexual assault.

The training sessions were designed to ensure all military and civilian personnel understand the Navy's SAPR principles and resources, and to give them an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues pertaining to sexual assault.

"The recent SAPR stand-down sessions were a great opportunity for everyone at USNA to have an open and meaningful conversation about not only sexual assault, but gender relations, culture, and creating a positive work environment based on dignity and respect," said Cmdr. David Smith, chair of the academy's Leadership, Ethics and Law Department.

Smith was one of the senior officers who facilitated the training.

"We conduct SAPR training annually, but rarely does it involve such an open conversation about what we can personally do to create a work environment that promotes healthy relationships based on trust, and how we can reduce the opportunity for those who might try to take advantage of others," said Smith. "These were some of the most lively and engaging discussions I have heard among students, staff and faculty that shows our people do care and want to make a difference."

The stand-down training supplements the robust training program already in place at the academy. Through the Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education (SHAPE) program for midshipmen, plebes and youngsters receive approximately five hours of formal education each year focusing on various aspects of sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention. First and second-class midshipmen receive at least two hours of education each year, and SHAPE material is integrated into their required leadership and law classes as well as the first class capstone curriculum.

The academy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) has more than 50 midshipmen volunteers trained as GUIDEs (Guidance, Understanding, Information, Direction, Education) - and provide additional training and education to the Brigade.

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