Navy Chaplain Corps Offers Sexual Assault Recovery Retreats for Men

Story Number: NNS180426-02Release Date: 4/26/2018 10:14:00 AM
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By Gloria Colon-Buzatu, Navy Chaplain Corps Public Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO), Hope to Healing (H2H) Sexual Assault Recovery Retreat program, plans to expand to include a retreat for male survivors of sexual assault.

"The goal is to follow the model of the current CREDO Hope to Healing retreat, a spiritual readiness and resilience resource for female survivors of sexual assault," said Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, Navy Chief of Chaplains.

More than 80 female survivors have participated in the H2H retreat and the results have been positive.

"The retreat environment is designed to allow people to seek healing in their life," said Kibben. "Chaplains care for all with complete confidentiality, dignity, respect and compassion, regardless of an individual's beliefs, and reconnect months after the retreat to check on survivors," added Kibben.

According to the Department of Defense Sexual Assault and Response Office, in the fiscal year 2016 report more than 6,000 males surveyed claimed some type of sexual assault, which is the largest number to date.

"H2H is a coordinated initiative with the Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DONSAPRO) that oversees the [H2H] program with Commander, Navy Installations Command, facilitating and working with the [Fleet Family Service Center and Navy Medicine] counseling centers across the Navy and Marine Corps," said Cmdr. Jennifer Bowden, a Navy chaplain, and CREDO director for Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

"Expansion of the program is contingent on assuring that CREDO regions are properly trained and have appropriate facilities and resources to provide a quality experience," added Bowden.

The established goals and objectives for a weekend retreat of the H2H curriculum will remain the same.

The retreat includes action-oriented skill-building activities:
* The awareness of trauma's effect on the self
* Strengthening resiliency and stress coping skills,
* Establishing personal growth goals
* Developing character strengths and virtues
* Enhancing social wellness through friendship
* Building family cohesion and social support
* Deepening one's sense of purpose in life

"During the H2H retreat all sections of the program are led by chaplains," said Bowden.

Sexual assault is a crime. CREDO H2H is a response to support and care for survivors.

Visit the Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office for the options to report a sexual assault crime.

Visit the Navy Chaplain Corps website for the listing of all CREDO locations and contact information.

Visit the Navy Chief of Chaplains Facebook Page for news.

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