WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel detailed the Navy's initiatives and goals for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) during a media roundtable at Naval Support Facility Arlington, April 2.
"Our collective message is that the crime of sexual assault is incompatible with Navy ethos and core values. Having one sexual assault in the Navy is one too many," said Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk.
The Navy will highlight weekly themes throughout the month in order to focus awareness efforts. The theme for the first week of April is "Hurts One."
"We have a sexual assault problem in our ranks. This is a problem we are determined to eradicate," said Commander, Navy Installations Command Vice Adm. William D. French, who is charged with implementing the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program throughout the fleet.
"We are committed to preventing sexual assault, and we are dedicated to ensuring victims of sexual assault have access to the resources they need, to include medical care, counseling, criminal investigation support and much more," said French.
Throughout the month, commands fleet-wide will host mandatory education sessions to raise sexual assault awareness among Sailors. Commanding officers can either hold a single two-hour stand down or, preferably, break the discussions into four 30-minute weekly sessions, said Van Buskirk.
"We need to start talking openly about sexual assault to encourage victims to report, whether restricted or unrestricted. We need to support our shipmates who are victims, and to intervene when our shipmates may be heading into dangerous waters. We must foster command climates where reporting is embraced so we can eliminate sexual assault from our great Navy," said Van Buskirk.
Scripts and videos for each week's theme have been provided to commanding officers to help facilitate discussion throughout their commands. These engagement products, in addition to talking points, posters and other tools, are posted to Navy Personnel Command's Sexual Assault and Prevention website, http://www.sapr.navy.mil, according to NAVADMIN 106/12.
Sexual Assault Prevention is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department. The Department of the Navy (DoN) is working aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.
Help raise awareness by joining the conversation on social media using #SAAM.
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