By Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. –The Navy released its first quarterly Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program update, NAVADMIN 096/10, to update Sailors with the information necessary to positively impact their environment and lead the Navy toward its goal of eliminating sexual assault from its ranks.
“Sexual assault is an assault against unit cohesion, readiness and Navy’s core values,” said Rear Adm. Dan Holloway, director of personnel, plans and policy. “It is a Department of the Navy goal to eliminate sexual assault incidents that impact DoN personnel and their family members.”
In 2009, the Navy renamed the Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program to SAPR to align with the mission of the program, highlighting the importance of both prevention and response. Since then, Navy SAPR coordinators have focused on the development and implementation of a comprehensive and effective prevention and response strategy.
Navy leaders are making sexual assault prevention a top priority. Prevention efforts are focused on non-stranger and alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults. In the Navy’s 2009 Annual Report of Sexual Assaults in the Military, more than half of the reports involved military subjects committing offenses against military victims.
Fleet organizers held the first-ever waterfront SAPR workshop in February at Naval Station Norfolk. It was attended by more than 170 command leaders and 150 first responders. Future workshops in other fleet concentration areas are planned. The training focuses on increasing awareness, defining expectations and identifying resources available to commands.
In March, the Fleet also began a peer-to-peer prevention training pilot program aimed at developing effective bystander intervention skills.
“This pilot training, tailored to Sailors and deckplate leaders who are critical to the success of sexual assault prevention, is designed to discover the best way to implement and sustain cultural change in our Navy,” said Paul Finch, CNIC SAPR program manager. “The overall goal is to create a culture of respect that requires that we all see ourselves as part of the solution, and to intervene to prevent sexual assault within our Navy environment.”
The bystander intervention program teaches Sailors how to intervene in cases of sexual violence before, during and after incidents occur. This peer-to-peer program, using the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) model, will be tested within different training environments in Norfolk, Hawaii, Pensacola and Bahrain. “After the project is complete,” according to Finch, “we will know what works best for Sailors so we can implement effective bystander training Navy-wide.”
This year, the Navy again included SAPR training in annual general military training (GMT) requirements for all Sailors and will add sexual assault awareness questions to Navy-wide advancement exams in 2011. Navy Criminal Investigative Service, Bureau of Medicine, Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and other key stakeholders have also focused on improving their response to sexual assault.
“We have the obligation and power to intervene and prevent sexual assault. We must continue our efforts to eliminate this crime from our ranks,” said Holloway.
For more information on the Navy’s SAPR program, read NAVADMIN 096/10 and visit http://www.sapr.mil/.