PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- As part of the training ensuring every member of the Department of the Navy (DoN) team understands that Sexual Assault in all forms is unacceptable, civilian staff members from the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) is conducting Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) training Aug. 20. - Sept. 18.
Sexual Assault Prevention: One Team, One Fight is mandatory training for all DoN civilians and must be completed before Oct. 1. The training is designed to meet Congressional, Department of Defense and DoN requirements as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.
Opening the One Team, One Fight training is a video which includes an introduction by Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus:
"This important training program is critical to the success of our Department of the Navy as a safe and secure work environment - that's true for all Sailors, Marines and civilians; we're all a team. But there's a problem that affects our safety and our mission readiness and I'm talking about sexual assault. On average, three sexual assaults are reported every single day. And that isn't the whole story, because a lot of sexual assaults go unreported. Sexual assault is real and it is a crime. It violates our military code of conduct and there's absolutely no place in our Navy and Marine Corps for sexual assault, period. Sexual assault harms team morale. It erodes the trust that binds our organization together, it undermines our operational readiness, and it tarnishes our reputation. It also violates the trust of the families who have placed the well-being and safety of their family members in our hands. As secretary, I'm personally committed to eliminating sexual assault throughout the Department of the Navy, because we are a family. It's up to all of us to protect each other."
Mike Stahl, SAPR program manager for NETC, is coordinating the civilian training at headquarters and throughout the domain. Stahl also serves as one of the facilitators for the headquarters training.
"We have more than 4,000 civilians working side-by-side with our military members at NETC activities, so it's vital to include them in this important effort," said Stahl. "Civilians are an integral part of our training and education culture, and they need to be armed with the same type of information which was provided to our service members during the SAPR standdown, SAPR Leadership and Fleet training sessions."
The civilian SAPR training is approximately 90-minutes long and consists of 30-minutes of video followed by guided group discussion. Class size is designed to average 30 participants, with multiple classes scheduled to include all civilians. In addition to two facilitators, an area Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) or a SAPR Victim Advocate is present during the sessions to provide support to any sexual assault survivors in the audience.
Anne Ballensinger, SAPR victim advocate from the Naval Air Station Pensacola Fleet and Family Support Center, participated in the training. Ballensinger is often the first one to take the call that a sexual assault has taken place.
"This new training is provided to ensure that every member of DoN understands that sexist behaviors, sexual harassment, and sexual assault are not tolerated, condoned or ignored," said Ballensinger. "Every member must be treated with dignity and respect; all allegations of inappropriate behavior must be taken very seriously; and victim privacy must be protected while treating them with utmost sensitivity. Additionally, bystanders must be motivated to step in and intervene in a situation that doesn't seem right while we hold offenders accountable for committing these crimes."
Additional information and resources to combat sexual assault are available at http://www.sapr.navy.mil. Sexual assault affects Navy readiness, and the Navy is committed to preventing sexual assault. Join the Navy's conversation about sexual assault on social media and help raise awareness by using #NavySAPR.
For additional information about the Naval Education and Training Command, visit https://www.netc.navy.mil or www.navy.mil/local/cnet/.