From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
April 1 marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. This week, we interviewed the Director of the 21st Century Sailor Office, and the Navy’s SAPR Officer on the importance of Sailors turning knowledge into action during this awareness month. Rear Adm. Ann Burkhardt addressed the importance of looking out for our shipmates through intervention, speaking up when they see something’s wrong, and using the resources across the fleet to stop sexual assault.
So what I want Sailors to do is to be part of a team of professionals at a command that builds that command climate. Part of that is to not tolerate sexist behaviors, not tolerate sexual harassment, or sexual assault or hazing. It’s also not to tolerate the misuse of alcohol.
Rear Adm. Burkhardt
Director, 21st Century Sailor Office
MC2 Burleson: Welcome. It’s the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and joining me today is the Director of the 21 Century Sailor Office, and the Navy’s SAPR Officer, Rear Admiral Burkhardt.
Rear Adm. Burkhardt: It’s great to be here.
MC2 Burleson: Ma’am, so what do you want Sailors to know?
Rear Adm. Burkhardt: Well this is April; it’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and the theme this year is “Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part and Do Your Part.” What I want Sailors to know is what is sexual assault, what are ways to prevent it, and how they can participate in those prevention efforts. And if prevention fails, Sailors need to know how to report it.
MC2 Burleson: So ma’am with that knowledge, what do you want Sailors to actually do?
Rear Adm. Burkhardt: It is about knowledge and action. It’s about awareness and then the prevention. So what I want Sailors to do is to be part of a team of professionals at a command that builds that command climate. Part of that is to not tolerate sexist behaviors, not tolerate sexual harassment, or sexual assault or hazing. It’s also not to tolerate the misuse of alcohol. I really want Sailors to know that offenders victimize individuals under the influence of alcohol, so it’s important to understand this approach and then be part of the intervention to prevent this from happening. That will go a long way in our efforts.
MC2 Burleson: As you know, SAAPM is only one month. How do we continue to move forward throughout the year?
Rear Adm. Burkhardt: Right, that’s important. It is the knowledge and actions, awareness and prevention. It’s really that every Sailor understands how to take that knowledge, and take those actions to be part of….Every Sailor, every day, making a difference in our Navy to join as a collective team to eliminate sexual assault. It really is to know your part, and then do your part.
MC2 Burleson: Well Ma’am, thank you for joining us today, and thank you all for watching. Be sure to checkout the SAAPM toolkit at sapr.navy.mil to help you plan for SAAPM at your command.