Specialist 2nd Class Dearren Watson makes handprints on a canvas during Sexual Assault Awareness Month training.
120420-N-ZZ999-001 SAN DIEGO (April 20, 2012) - Operations Specialist 2nd Class Dearren Watson, assigned to Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3, makes handprints on a canvas during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) training. The staff created the canvas as a visual promise that "these hands don't hurt," and as a reminder throughout the year that sexual violence has no place in the Navy. #SAAM (U.S. Navy photo by Culinary Specialist 1st Class Mark Manzano/Released)
ESG 3 conducts Sexual Assault Awareness Month training
SAN DIEGO - Sailors assigned to Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 3 staff pledged "these hands won't hurt," and created a visible representation of their promise to prevent sexual assault during training held April 20.

"This canvas with our handprints symbolizes our continued commitment to our goals of eliminating sexual violence," said Lt. Cmdr. Elaine Brunelle. "We will display it all year to remind us of our training. Sexual assaults happen year round, and one person's initiative to intervene can make a difference."

Rear Adm. Gerard Hueber, commander of ESG-3, was the first to paint his handprints on the canvas. "We have to stand together to prevent sexual violence in our Navy. Sexual assault is not age dependent, and it is not an issue just for men or just for women. Sexual assault has a negative impact on crew readiness and morale, and each and every one of us has an obligation to prevent that behavior."

The staff participated in weekly training events throughout the month of April to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Topics included "hurts one, effects all," self defense instruction at command physical training, and a brief on bystander intervention. Sailors were given teal ribbons to display in their workspace, and will conclude SAAM by having a "Denim Day" to address myths about sexual violence.

"The training we do at the staff level sets the tone for all of our ships on the waterfront," said Karen Diaz-Pellot, command paralegal, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) point of contact, and retired Senior Chief Information Systems Technician. "We are committed to making the Navy a safe place to work, with an environment of respect and trust among all Sailors."

The goal of Navy Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April 2012) is to reduce sexual assaults through direct, sustained engagement of all hands at all levels. Sexual assault prevention is everyone's duty. Sailors can learn more about how to prevent sexual assault, and what to do if they are assaulted, by visiting: www.myduty.mil.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative that 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 prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.
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