EVERETT, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy Region Northwest leadership gathered at the Sexual Assault Prevention Response Summit at the Grand Vista ballroom aboard Naval Station (NS) Everett, Wash., Apr. 11, to discuss sexual assault awareness and to provide the tools, knowledge and resources to prevent sexual assault.
The summit highlighted sexual assault prevention as everyone's duty and promoted April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). SAAM helps to raise awareness of sexual assault crimes across the Department of Defense.
Capt. Michael Coury, NS Everett commanding officer, and Jennifer Husman, NS Everett Fleet and Family Support Center sexual assault response coordinator, were key speakers at the event.
Husman addressed the importance of SAAM and how command leaders should implement the tools and resources they received while attending this year's summit.
"It's nice to have leadership involvement, but it also sends the message to the command that they are invested in taking care of their Sailors," said Husman.
Service members conducted a panel during the summit discussing possible sexual assault cases and how to handle each case as a leadership member.
Husman explained the importance of leadership fully understanding SAAM.
"I hope that I can get through to leadership and make them think a little bit differently about what to do when someone reports a sexual assault," said Husman. "How vulnerable they are, how they are really putting themselves at the mercy of whoever is responding and if I can change that, than I think we are doing a pretty good job."
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Terence Emanuel, assigned to USS Nimitz (CVN 68), described how this year's summit helped him to understand SAAM more efficiently and gather helpful information that he can bring back to his command.
"I feel it's important to go to these events because you get the latest information," said Emanuel. "You never know who, what, when, where, or if it is going to happen to anybody, but everyone needs to know the proper steps to take."
Throughout the month of April, maximum effort is being put in place in order to promote sexual assault awareness. As this initiative continues, all hands will be provided the tools, knowledge and resources to help prevent sexual assault throughout the upcoming years.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 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 Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to 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.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Commander Navy Region Northwest, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw/.