WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy sexual assault survey for 2013 ended Jan. 6, and results are currently being compiled.
The Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DoN SAPRO), which answers directly to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, extended their appreciation for the participation of Sailors and Marines in the survey, which will help the office plan for future endeavors to fight sexual assault.
"We work very hard and use all available resources to prevent, and hopefully eliminate, this crime of sexual assault in our Navy and Marine Corps," said Jill Loftus, director of DoN SAPRO. "The success of this survey, just like our larger efforts to combat sexual assault, depends on the support and contribution of Sailors and Marines world-wide and we tremendously appreciate all our participants' honest inputs on this vital subject."
Rear Adm. Sean S. Buck, the director of N-17, the 21st Century Sailor and Marine Office, has spent much of his time visiting Sailors and Marines to get feedback about the Navy's efforts to combat sexual assault. The survey's results will help him get a better idea of where the DoN stands.
"The intent of the survey is to show us where we stand with sexual assault prevention," said Buck. "This survey will update us as to whether we are closing the discrepancy between the numbers of Sailors who say in confidential surveys that's they've been victims of some sort of unwanted sexual contact and the number of actual reports that we receive. We think our efforts to date have begun to make progress in understanding the magnitude of the problem in the Navy."
While the DoN will not publicly release the results of the survey, DoN SAPRO and N-17 will both use that information to shape programs and training to meet the needs of Sailors and Marines.
In the past, survey results have led to doubling the number of sexual assault investigators at NCIS, increasing the number of sexual assault response coordinators, full-time victim advocates who are civilians trained as counselors, the institution of a victim's legal counsel to help victims through the process and civilian resiliency counselors, who are also certified sexual assault response coordinators, on the big decks, said Loftus.
By taking part in the 10-minute surveys, Sailors and Marines have helped their senior leadership battle sexual assault from the deck plates.
"Thanks to all of you in the Fleet that voluntarily participated in the survey," said Buck. "By doing so, you've made yourself part of the solution to prevent sexual assault."