WASHINGTON (NNS) -- April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and this year's theme is "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault."
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert, discussed the issue of sexual assault in an interview April 10.
"We've been well aware of this challenge [sexual assault] we have in the Navy," said Greenert.
It [Sexual Assault Awareness Month] is a great opportunity to do two things: to assess where we are and to synchronize our efforts. Now we've made progress in this challenge, our investigations are getting better, we're doing pretty good on victim advocacy, and I base that on feedback from the fleet. But we need to focus on prevention. And the best attribute to get prevention is intervention. We need to have the courage to step in."
Greenert pointed out that trust and respect are the foundations of addressing the issue of sexual assault.
"I think you can increase the trust of your shipmates by first of all respecting yourself, and
respect others. And demanding that. Get over the stigma that sexual assault is something that
happens to somebody else. That's not the case. This is real and it is happening in the fleet. So we need to intervene. We need to have the courage to stand up and say, "enough of this" and get rid of sexual harassment."
Greenert expressed confidence that Sailors and Marines can overcome the challenge of reducing sexual assault while emphasizing that it will be a team effort.
"But it's everybody's challenge and everybody's activity that needs to take place," Greenert said. So let's have the courage to intervene, let's respect each other and let's work in a climate of dignity and respect."
For more information, visit www.sapr.mil.