VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Sailors assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command attended Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) training at NECC headquarters, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, April 24.
The training brought together an open discussion atmosphere focusing on this year’s Department of Defense theme “Hurts One, Affects All, Preventing Sexual Assault is Everyone’s Duty.”
NECC Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Coordinator, Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Holden, led the discussion. “Our goal is to eliminate sexual assault from the ranks by educating our sailors and through proactive prevention efforts,” said Holden
Results from a 2010 Navy report states the Navy averaged two reported sexual assaults each day, alcohol was involved in almost half of those cases.
“Sexual assault is going to happen, it’s going on every day, and every situation is different,” said Holden. “We need our leadership to know how to utilize available resources and our people feel comfortable reporting any incident to their chain of command so they can get the victims the medical, physical and mental help they need.”
The discussion highlighted the effects of sexual assault on mission readiness, how to prevent sexual assault, warning signs of a sexual predator, how to be an active bystander, what to do when sexual assault is reported or person becomes a victim of sexual assault, and personnel required in the reporting and treatment phases.
“It doesn’t matter whether a victim is pay grade E-1 or 0-7, it’s going to affect their ability to be mission capable,” said Holden.
Holden explained sexual assault affects mission readiness and the Navy is committed to handling each individual case properly and that victims receive proper treatment.
“The training was great, it was full of examples,” said Seaman Samuel Beltre. “I gained a lot of knowledge on what to look out for, like if you go out to clubs to have a buddy with you and watch your alcohol consumption.”
SAPR 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 Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to 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