By Rear Adm. Sean Buck
Director, 21st Century Sailor Office
To further illuminate the negative impacts of sexual assaults on the Fleet, the Navy Office of Information is releasing “Broken Links,” a series of short videos profiling individuals who, either personally or professionally, have been affected by sexual assault.
In line with the Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) theme this year, “Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault,” our hope is that Broken Links will encourage Sailors and civilians to help prevent these crimes by speaking up and stepping in if they see inappropriate or potentially dangerous situations which could lead to a sexual assault.
We know that sexual assault is a crime that destroys trust, divides teams, and degrades operational effectiveness. These profiles go beyond the talking points. You’ll see real people in their own words—not actors—who survived an assault or know somebody who has. You’ll see the committed professionals who help repair the damage from these crimes—to the victim and to the command. You’ll see why it’s so important to step up for your shipmates and stop sexual assault.
The Broken Links profiles are based off of interviews with a survivor, a Victim Advocate, a CO of a ship rocked by a sexual assault, and others. This series, like any unit or ship, is a living story, and is symbolized by links in a chain. Our Navy is full of symbolism wrapped around chains, like the anchor chains holding us securely where we need to be. Every person is one link, and if a link gets broken, the chain is weaker. No one is unaffected when there is a sexual assault within a command.
Each Broken Links video will allow its subject to narrate his or her own story and share how he or she has been affected by sexual assault or has responded to the crime on behalf of the victim or the command. Each profile will reinforce the responsibility we all have to stand up for our shipmates. We are releasing the first profile today as we conclude SAAM 2014, and we will release more videos periodically throughout the next few months. While SAAM may officially only last one month, our commitment to awareness and our vigilance against these crimes lasts year-round.
Broken Links’ first video, profiling Cryptologic Technician – Collection First Class Bonnie McCammond, is contained below, and can also be found on the SAPR homepage at Navy.mil. CTR1 McCammond bravely shares her story of surviving sexual assault and finding the courage to speak out. Her powerful narrative reinforces the urgency for all sailors to step up to stop sexual assault.