By Rear Adm. Philip E. Sobeck
Director, 21st Century Sailor, N17, OPNAV
Throughout the month of April, the Navy, along with the rest of our Nation, is observing Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
As we continue to shift our collective focus from awareness to prevention, it’s important that we’re able to distinguish between awareness, risk reduction and primary prevention. Both awareness and risk reduction can be tools to aid in stopping sexual violence, but primary prevention is the approach that looks at the bigger picture. Through primary prevention, we can look at the culture, norms, attitudes and beliefs that create an environment where sexual violence is permitted and we can begin eliminating and reducing the factors that perpetuate sexual violence to keep it from happening in the first place. This is where I believe each of us can make a commitment to do better for our shipmates.
Collectively, and at all levels, we must encourage positive behaviors by recognizing acts that contribute to a supportive command climate. We must commit to possess the courage necessary to conduct ourselves with respect for our fellow Sailors. It’s up to all of us to target destructive behaviors with active prevention and create healthy norms and communities for our One Navy Team.
My challenge to you is to take some time and really think about this. How will you ‘Make the Commitment’?
Take a few minutes and listen to my SAAPM-focused podcast.