By Rear Adm. Rick Snyder
Director, 21st Century Sailor Office
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and this year’s Department of Defense theme is “Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your part.” And this theme is spot on – knowledge and action.
We all have a role in prevention of sexual assault and other behaviors that negatively impact our shipmates and our Navy.
Each of you can make a difference by the example you set through your words and your actions.
The Navy is making progress towards eliminating sexual assault – thank you.
But we still have much work to do, and I’m confident we’ll get it done.
Frequently, we see that sexual assault victims were previously sexually harassed – often by the same alleged offender. No one wants to be part of a culture that harasses our shipmates. Through our awareness and diligence, we can stop it.
We must be supportive of all victims of sexual assault. Surveys indicate victims of sexual assault are about evenly split between men and women and all of our shipmates must feel comfortable coming forward and reporting.
We must be sensitive in our response to victims of sexual assault. They need our support, not our exclusion. Actions done to them in retaliation for coming forward discourages them and others, and it’s against the UCMJ.
Treating each other with dignity and respect is core to our Navy.
As I said, we are making progress. Together we can and must, keep that momentum going. Thanks for your support and participation in upcoming Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month activities and events.