PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, observed each year during the month of April, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) and the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), announce original artwork available for download from the DEOMI public website, www.deomi.org and from the SAPRO website, www.sapr.mil.
Nationally, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) commits to raising awareness and promoting the prevention of sexual violence through use of special events and public education. SAAM provides commands/installations an annual opportunity to highlight Department of Defense (DoD) and Service policies addressing sexual assault prevention and response. This April, the Department observes the tenth annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month with the theme “Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault.”
The Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, said “We need a cultural change where every Service member is treated with dignity and respect, where all allegations of inappropriate behavior are treated with seriousness, where victims’ privacy is protected, where bystanders are motivated to intervene, and where offenders know that they will be held accountable by strong and effective systems of justice.”
In a Feb. 3, 2014 letter to the Services, Ms. Jessica L. Wright, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, wrote that “Sexual assault is a crime and can only be stopped when everyone understands we all have a role in combating it. Your actions to reinforce standards of behavior and values and to emphasize the importance of social courage will strengthen our culture. Commanders and leaders at every level must establish a climate of dignity, respect, and trust. We also need a personal commitment from every Service member, at every level in our military, to be steadfast participants in creating that culture.
Adherence to Service values and standards of behavior will reduce the risk and can stop inappropriate behavior. The Department does not tolerate, condone, or ignore sexual assault. We must “Live Our Values” every day, all year long and “Step Up” by intervening when appropriate, reporting crimes, and supporting victims. When we all get involved we will move the Department closer to a culture free of sexual assault.”
For extensive information and related tools and links on DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response policy, visit www.SAPR.mil.