Washington, DC - Navy leaders announced March 30, the 2016 Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) theme of "Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know your part. Do your part."
The April awareness month is designed to build momentum for year-round efforts to eliminate the crime of sexual assault, while making sure all Sailors are treated with dignity and respect.
"By sharing stories, ideas, and the resources needed to build awareness, we hope every command and every Sailor takes away something meaningful from this month," said Rear Adm. Ann Burkhardt, director, 21st Century Sailor Office. "Leaders who feel empowered to make a difference and encourage their Sailors to do the same, are the critical link to ensure we end this crime across the fleet."
Earlier this year, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, announced five initiatives to help "end the scourge of sexual assault" in our Navy. "Eliminating sexual assault requires more than words, zero tolerance requires an all-hands effort," he said.
CNO's five initiatives include:
1) A Shipmate is not a "bystander." If you see something wrong, do something right.
2) Establish counselors within the Fleet and Family Support Centers as a resource for victim support.
3) Improve our personnel management practices and procedures, following a sexual assault experience, to ensure our Sailors are put in the best position possible to succeed.
4) Continue our efforts to educate our Sailors and reduce alcohol abuse in the Navy, particularly binge drinking.
5) Better utilize technology to remove cultural barriers and stigma associated with reporting a sexual assault or seeking advice and counsel.
In addition to asking Sailors to learn, discuss and think about sexual assault prevention, commands are encouraged to organize events in April to highlight the awareness and prevention of sexual assaults. Information, references, and resources can be found online at www.sapr.navy.mil.
The goal of the command events and information sharing is in keeping with the month's theme of "Know your part, Do your part," as Sailors can use knowledge and then action that will help eliminate sexual assault in the ranks. The SAAPM 2016 Toolkit can be used to determine some of the best ways to observe the awareness month. The website also includes resources for victims of sexual assault to reach out and get help.