This week I want to address a topic that I hope, by this point, you are all familiar with, DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. By now everyone in our Reserve Force should have received the mandatory two-hour SAPR training or have a plan to complete it by the July 22 deadline, which is fast approaching.
I am well aware of the challenges in adding another training requirement to your already full drill and training schedules. But it is imperative that we make this a priority and that we have 100 percent participation and completion.
But, I don’t want you to think this training is just a check in the box. This problem and its effect on our communities, families and in our Navy Reserve are very real and we must attack it on all fronts. In fiscal year 2012, there were a total of 726 reports of sexual assault in the Navy. Notice I said reported – as many of you are aware, sexual assault is still considered one of the most underreported crimes.
ONE sexual assault is too many. It is our job, our duty and our moral obligation to attack this issue from all sides.
Participation in this stand down is another step in that direction. This is not the GMT on sexual assault that we’ve all seen before; it is a powerful presentation on the causes and effects of this unacceptable behavior.
So I urge you all to make sure that you and your Sailors make it to the next SAPR stand down in your area. If you’re unsure of time and location of the brief, contact your NOSC’s SAPR representative.
Let’s protect our shipmates and stop this crime from occurring in our force.