News: SAAM: NECC Raises Sexual Assault Awareness
Story by Seaman Heather Brown
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Navy Expeditionary Combat Command forces are conducting training in support of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign throughout the month of April.
All NECC forces are participating in the SAAM campaign by holding training sessions and taking part in events such as Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Awareness, SAPR walks and required General Military Training.
“With almost two sexual assault reports being made every day and almost two a month within our forces you can’t say sexual assault isn’t serious problem,” said NECC Force SAPR Program Manager, Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason K. Holden. “We may not be able to watch our sailors every day, but by providing education, mentorship and leadership we can reduce the number of sexual assaults crimes.”
Commands conducted training to educate their sailors on sexual assault. First Naval Construction Division completed their SAAM training with a visit from Frank Hawkins, Sexual Assault, Abuse and Rape Care representative from Yorktown, Va.
“The training went really well,” said Yeoman 1st Class Nichole Blair, 1NCD SAPR Program Manager. “I walked away with more knowledge of what is going on, how to intervene when something doesn't look right, what to look out for and how to keep a zero tolerance level.”
According to Holden, SAPR training is extremely important. It teaches sailors how to identify trends in age groups, gender, races and how to react to certain situations to prevent someone from being sexually assaulted.
“There are many things that can be done to prevent sexual assault, but it’s everyone’s duty to go out there and be the preventative force,” said Holden.
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. The Department of the Navy is working aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault visit www.myduty.mil, http://www.sapr.navy.mil or call the Department of Defense Safe Helpline at 1-877-995-5247.