NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- A Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) Proclamation was signed by the commanding officer of Naval Station Newport.
"The Navy is dedicated to establishing a culture and work environment that is safe and sexual assault free," Capt. Douglas Mikatarian, commanding officer, said following the signing ceremony.
"Many of the commands here at Naval Station Newport are in an excellent position to educate the leaders and future leaders of the Navy on the importance of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program and the negative impact on readiness caused by sexual violence," Mikatarian said.
In part, the proclamation urged all members of the Naval Station Newport community to stand up against sexual assault and make a difference.
Representatives from commands throughout the installation, including the Commanding Officers of Officer Training Command Newport (OTCN) and the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS), were in attendance at the official signing to show their support towards ending this reprehensible crime.
Naval Station Newport's Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SAPR) Allison Agnello has various events scheduled in recognition of SAAM including setting up information tables at locations around the naval base and hosting a SAPR Victim Advocate Appreciation Luncheon April 23.
Agnello will partner with various command instructors at OTCN and NAPS to serve as training facilitator for sexual assault prevention, role of the active bystander, command climate, and zero tolerance.
The theme of this year's awareness month is, "Hurts One, Affects All. Prevention of Sexual Assault is Everyone's Duty."
"Naval Station Newport area commands historically have a low number of sexual assaults but this does not give us cause to not continue to take a strong position against any sort of sexual violence. Sexual assault is a crime that will not be tolerated," Mikatarian said prior to signing the proclamation.
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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For more news from Naval Station Newport, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsnewport/.