#SAAM: 'No Zebras' Fleetwide Summer Tour Raises Sexual Assault Awareness

Story Number: NNS120604-13Release Date: 6/4/2012 2:32:00 PM
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By Lt. Lauryn Dempsey, Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office is teaming up with Central Michigan University this summer to raise sexual assault awareness in the Navy and Marine Corps, Navy officials reminded the fleet June 4.

The university's 'No Zebras, No Excuses' production, a performance aimed at challenging sexual assault myths and stereotypes, will perform at bases throughout the fleet.

"We all have the responsibility to protect each other from sexual assault-it's part of our core values of honor, courage and commitment," said Jill Loftus, director of the department of the Navy's sexual assault prevention and response office.

This show helps audiences recognize behavior that leads to sexual assault, how to interpret what they're seeing and then how to take purposeful action, said Loftus.

In addition to the performance, command leadership training will be conducted by Loftus and Steve Thompson, creator and facilitator of the 'No Zebras' performance. The training is geared at teaching leaders the realities of sexual assault by challenging the myths and social norms that surround the crime.

"Steve Thompson has extensive experience working with civilian sexual assault cases, which gives him unique and credible insights into the circumstances of the crime," said Loftus.

The fleetwide summer tour began in Camp Lejuene, N.C. and Norfolk, Va. mid-May and saw more than 3,500 Sailors and Marines in attendance.

"For us to be given the privilege to educate and to help create a safer environment for those who give so much of themselves to make us safe is truly an honor," said Thompson.

Loftus, Thompson and the 'No Zebras' performers are currently in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for two performances. Other stops along the tour include Groton, Conn. with Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick West, June 14-15; Kaneohe and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, June 18-21; Yokosuka, Japan, July 16-17; Okinawa, Japan, July 19-20; Great Lakes, Ill., July 31-Aug. 4; Port Hueneme, Calif., Aug. 9; Point Mugu, Calif., Aug. 10; San Diego, Aug. 13-14; on board USS Boxer (LHD 4), Aug. 15; and Camp Pendleton, Calif., Aug. 16-17.

"Our hope for Sailors and Marines following the show is that they come away with a renewed sense of personal responsibility for combating sexual assault, for protecting each other and for being mindful of our own actions," said Loftus.

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.

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120329-N-ZZ999-002 The graphic logo to illustrate Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) initiative.
March 30, 2012
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