Presentation Highlights Importance of Sexual Assault Prevention

Story Number: NNS160203-07Release Date: 2/3/2016 11:33:00 AM
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By Zach Mott, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- Eliminating sexual assault in the ranks is a top priority for military leaders. For the more than 5,000 new accession Sailors in Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes, learning skills and tactics to reach that goal were the focus of a presentation Feb. 3 to a packed Ross Theater crowd.

"It helps emphasize the importance of sexual assault prevention and that there are people out there who do bad things," said Chief Damage Controlman Jeremy Hardnack, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command liaison for TSC. "This program is another tool to help us use in order to help get the information out there to the students."

During the hour-long, interactive presentation, students were instructed on the harm of retaliation and reprisal, the role of each individual in the prevention of sexual assault, how to be a good bystander, the connection between harassment and sexist remarks, creating a culture that does not tolerate sex offenders and reinforce Navy core values.

The scenario depicted Sailors reacting to a reported sexual assault between shipmates. Sailors are first observers then take on more involved roles as the scenario dives deeper into the issue of sexual assault and the reprisal thereafter.

"It really makes you think," said Seaman Elizabeth Jones, a student at TSC. "Going through these scenarios it helps to get an idea of how to deal with a real situation like this."

The production is researched and put on by Peer Praxis, a group based out of Long Beach, California, that stages productions for Navy and Marine Corps groups throughout the world.

"This show specifically deals with retaliation because we've seen a lot of that," said Alfredo Avila, a member of the Peer Praxis group who cited 2014 statistics on retaliation to reported sexual assaults.

This scenario is designed to give Sailors a toolkit of responses if they encounter similar issues.

"Sexual assault is a difficult issue with how do you curb it," Avila said. "When presented with an opportunity when you can do something about it and do an action. That's how you train for combat, you practice. That's how we feel people should train to prevent these kinds of things."

This presentation is a continuation of an education that began in student indoctrination during their first week at TSC as bystander intervention is introduced. That training continues through instruction from Navy Military Training Instructors (NMTI) and programs taught by outside agencies, such as this one.

"The CO (commanding officer), XO (executive officer) and CMC (command master chief) are very adamant about having this training because it's one of the top programs for the CNO and the SECNAV to make sure we're talking about sexual assault prevention," Hardnack said.

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