April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM). This year the Navy’s theme is “Make the Commitment.” The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program continues to focus on primary prevention, which examines the different approaches that take place before sexual violence occurs. This involves looking at the social norms, values, and climate that create an environment where sexual violence is permissible and then examining what we as individuals can do to challenge them.
Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) is joining other Navy components and services to observe SAAPM with a variety of activities and events at installations across the enterprise.
Though the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program is a year-round effort, SAAPM offers additional opportunities for members of the DoD community to renew our commitment to eliminating sexual assault from our ranks.
Every sailor, civilian and family member plays a part in reducing and eliminating sexual assault. Understanding how to recognize opportunities for intervention is vital to stopping unsafe behavior, to include retaliation. Each day we can take steps to foster a culture of dignity and respect with proper ethical behavior, even when no one is watching.
Make the Commitment
As you think about what you can do to prevent sexual violence, commit to focusing on at least one act that begins to build a solid foundation for your prevention skillset.
- You can commit to pointing out when someone is making a sexist joke.
- You can commit to speak up when you see someone disrespect another person or group of people.
- You can commit to having healthy relationships and respecting your partner’s boundaries.
Please join the global conversation by using the hashtags #SAAPM and #MaketheCommitment to show others how you Make The Commitment for sexual assault prevention. Throughout the month of April be sure to check out and get involved with SAAPM events that are taking place on your installation or in the community.
Ways to Get Involved
There are many ways that you can get involved in SAAPM and the SAPR Program. At each Navy installation, the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) is the central POC for SAAPM events and activities. Your installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator can provide you with information on SAAPM events and volunteer opportunities. You can find contact information for your installation SARC by checking your local installation website, or by checking the Plan of the Week or Plan of the Day.
Commands have multiple opportunities to participate during SAAPM. Commands that are interested in hosting events during SAAPM are encouraged to reach out to their SARC for coordination and support.
Sample events include:
- Leadership engagement activities (e.g., leadership symposium, proclamation signing, SAPR Meet-and-Greet)
- SAPR Personnel Engagement activities (e.g., self-care for SAPR VAs, SAPR VA appreciation event, SAPR resource fair, teal ribbon/flag campaign)
- Sexual assault prevention activities (e.g., intervention skill sharing, SAPR trivia night, theater presentations, lunch and learn)
- Sports activities (e.g., 5K Run/Walk, color run, Walk a Mile in Their Shoes)
- Group activities (e.g., SAAPM Flash Mob, Take Back the Night, candlelight vigil, cookout / cook-off)
- Contests and creative activities (e.g., sidewalk chalk messages, Clothesline Project / Line of Courage, art exhibit, scavenger hunt, SAAPM poster contest)
Contact your installation SARC for additional collaboration regarding event ideas and opportunities HERE.