Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

From Commander, Military Sealift Command

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

April marks Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), a period reinforced with education opportunities and events observed in both military and civilian communities in the United States. While sexual assault awareness and prevention is a year-round effort, SAAPM is a focused time when military and civilian organizations engage their respective communities to identify and strengthen the roles that individuals and institutions play in combatting sexual assault.

This recognition period aligns with one of the guiding principles in the Voyage Plan, “Our actions are guided by our core values of honor, courage, and commitment – We treat one another as we would like to be treated. We do not tolerate discrimination, sexual harassment or assault, hazing, bullying, reprisal, fraternization, or the illegal or improper use of drugs or alcohol.”

Participation in sexual assault awareness and prevention month events can help us to achieve three important goals:

– Promote a Navy culture that is intolerant of sexual assault and online misconduct, and that encourages reporting of sexual assault, and supports those who report sexual assault;

– Empower our Sailors and civilian team members to speak up whenever and wherever they see the bad behavior that can lead to sexual assault (online, at their workspace, amongst their peers/seniors/subordinates); and

– Position MSC as an organization that takes sexual assault very seriously and is implementing steps to eliminate it from our ranks.

This month provides us an opportunity to learn and educate ourselves about the issue of sexual assault, and then move to that next level and be action-oriented by encouraging behaviors that foster a climate of dignity and respect. In order to reach our goals we need to continue to move from awareness to action in the area of sexual assault prevention.

Thank you to those who will be participating in sexual assault awareness and prevention events during the month, either at your work location or in your local communities. On April 2, at MSC headquarters we will begin SAAPM with a program featuring two guest speakers, Mrs. Rosemary Trible, founder of Fear 2 Freedom, an organization dedicated to restoring hope and dignity to survivors of sexual assault, and Lt. Cmdr. Erin Elliott, a sexual assault survivor and victim advocate.

Those working at other locations should look for opportunities to participate in any SAAPM activities taking place near you throughout the month of April.

United We Sail,

Rear Adm. Dee L. Mewbourne, USN

Commander, Military Sealift Command

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