Please take the time to read this month's blog, guest written by Cmdr. Jean Steenson, RESFOR Sexual Assault Prevention Officer, on the role of the Force SAPRO. It's an important job and I hope you will find it informative and helpful.
How the Navy Reserve's Sexual Assault Prevention Officer works for youBy Cmdr. Jean Steenson, RESFOR SAPRO
I think we all have heard of the acronym SAPR, but have you heard of SAPRO? My name is Cmdr Jean Steenson and I am the RESFOR SAPRO (Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Officer). I am responsible for the Force SAPR Program and ensure it complies with DoD policy, tracking, and training. But most importantly, I'm responsible for the safety and well-being of our Sailors who fall victim to crimes of sexual assault and for ensuring the Navy Reserve Force is doing everything it can to prevent these assaults from happening.
That means a victim of sexual assault can report (unrestricted) an incident and know that every stage from the initial report through investigation, and if substantiated, the judicial process will be handled properly and expeditiously. This goes for both the victim and the alleged offender to make sure all rights are protected and due process is served.
For Reserve Sailors, I personally track every stage and guarantee that every report (no matter the duty status of a SELRES) is briefed at the Flag level. While briefing the Flag(s), we talk about victim's safety, alleged offender's rights, command climate, destructive behaviors, and most importantly, we discuss victim care. In addition, I work to ensure procedures are in place to maintain the anonymity of a victim filing a restricted report.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) has compiled over 800 activities that are being hosted CONUS and OCONUS, so no excuses, get involved. Every RCC, NOSC, and squadron is sponsoring SAAM events, so look for those this month. This year's theme is: "Live Our Values" every day, all year long. Do the right thing by intervening when appropriate, reporting crimes, and supporting victims. If we do, we can help stop sexual assaults.
Lastly, please take the time to learn who the Victim Advocate is at your NOSC, squadron or command and thank them. They have volunteered to take on an difficult job, and greatly deserve your appreciation.
CDR Jean Steenson