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#SAAM: Your Duty, Your Right

“Sexual assault is a crime that we cannot tolerate. It hurts our Shipmates and destroys the readiness of the unit in which it occurs. This violence is corrosive to morale and to our overall operational and combat readiness. We must take strong steps to combat it at every level in the chain-of-command. As leaders we have a moral duty to keep Sailors and their families safe from those who would attack their persons, their dignity, and their honor. To carry out this duty, we must work together to combat sexual assault within our ranks and eliminate this criminal behavior from the Fleet.”
– Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces 

Sexual Assault Prevention is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department of the Navy (DoN). DoN is working aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.  

 

Sexual Assault Affects Us All

•    Sexual assault is an attack on a Sailor—it hurts personal and family readiness.
•    Sexual assault is a crime.
•    Equal Opportunity is a fundamental element of the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Every Sailor has the right to live and work in a safe environment, free from discrimination, harassment and assault. Creating a climate of inclusion is a leadership issue and every Sailor’s responsibility.

New Sexual Assault Initiatives

•    One standardized Department of Defense  (DOD) retention policy now exists for documents related to sexual assault cases. Restricted reports will be retained for five years, while unrestricted reports will be retained for 50 years. At any time, restricted reports may be converted to unrestricted, and then retained for 50 years.
•    Additional initiatives include expanding legal assistance for victims. DOD civilians and contractors deployed overseas and military dependents over 18 years old also have access to SAPR services.
•    An anonymous and confiendetial 24/7 DOD Safe Helpline with telephone, text and online support is operated by the  Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) for victims seeking help outside their chain of command.

SAAM Week One Highlights

•    Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet released a SAAM video April 6 urging Sailors to actively participate in SAAM events, and to take action to help stop sexual assault from happening against their Shipmates.
•    The Chief of Naval Personnel, Commander Navy Installations Command and Director of Personnel Readiness and Community Support kicked off SAAM with a media roundtable Monday, April. 2.
•    Training Support Center (TSC) Great Lakes and other commands from Naval Station Great Lakes jump-started SAAM with a  teal ribbon-hanging ceremony April 2.  NAVSTA Newport hosted a proclamation signing April 3 to raise sexual assault awareness at their command.

Facts & Figures

• There were 2,500 referrals for counseling services through RAINN in its first year of operation.
• Typically, two sexual assaults are reported each day fleetwide. Many more go unreported.
• 65% of FY10 sexual assaults were service member on service member.
• In the 2011 sexual assault survey, 71 percent of perpetrators against Navy men are other Navy service members.

 

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