MANGILAO, Guam (April 7, 2017) – Military and local government leadership on Guam gathered to designate April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month during a proclamation signing at the Guam Community College in Mangilao April 6.
The Joint Services Marianas proclamation, which embodied all military forces on island including the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Army, called upon uniformed service members and their families to increase their participation in efforts to prevent sexual assault and child abuse.
“We recognize that sexual assault and child abuse are problems not just only within our organizations but present in society,” said Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Joint Region Marianas. “It’s very important that we work together with the community, civilian organizations and the people of Guam to eliminate these behaviors wherever they occur.”
Chatfield directly addressed service members regarding ongoing investigations of indecent material shared on social media networks. She stressed the multitude of consequences a service member faces if they are found producing, distributing or encouraging such actions.
“Whether it’s the posting of inappropriate images, or the act of sexual assault or child abuse, toxic behaviors like these have no place in our military,” she said. “Whether on duty, in uniform or at home our behaviors must reflect the highest standards of character and conduct when it comes to any behavior that seeks to demean or degrade others. We must not let our own silence be consent.”
Following her remarks, Chatfield signed the proclamation followed by Col. Joel Almosara, commander 36th Medical Group; Capt. Hans Sholley, commanding officer, U.S. Naval Base Guam; Col. Brent Bien, officer in charge, Marine Corps Activity Guam, Capt. James Pruett, sector commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam; Lt. Col. Jeffrey Slown, commander, Task Force Talon; and Sgt. First Class Paul Pipic, U.S. Army Reserve Theater Support Group Det. Marianas.
Guam Department of Public Health Director James Gillan called out to military leaders to continue partnering with other organizations in order to help the community heal and cope with sexual assault and child abuse.
“I hope you really do become more engaged with the community,” he said. “All you military folks, thank you for this joint resolution.”