The Department of Defense’s sexual assault policy is that this crime has no place in the United States Armed Forces.
In April, during sexual assault awareness month, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Martin E. Dempsey made a plea for help about a problem that erodes trust in our joint forces. That is the problem of sexual assault- more specifically the problem of sexual assault in the military.
The release of the DOD’s fiscal 2012 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military this past May confirmed just how staggering CJCS Dempsey’s plea really was and currently is. In 2012, there were 3,374 reports of sexual assault involving service members. The report went on to describe “offenses ranging from abusive sexual conduct to rape.”
To change this, senior military leaders were called to testify before the Senate Armed Service Committee.
Tuesday June 4th, CNO Admiral Jonathan Greenert testified about sexual assault in the fleet and what was being done about it.
The problem of sexual assault in our Armed Forces is so prevalent that an entire force wide stand-down is being conducted this month.
All Navy commands will host sexual assault prevention and response instruction with the command triad (commanding officer, executive officer, and command master chief for a minimum of 2 hours this month. This instruction is aimed at making sure sailors, and civilian personnel are aware of and fully understand the principles behind sexual assault prevention, as well as where to go to get a shipmate or themselves help for sexually based crimes.
For those who have been victims of a sexual assault or those who know a victim there is help available. Below are a list of resources. Remember sexual assault is a crime, do your duty- be an active bystander and report it! Sexual assault has no place in our fleet!
Safe Help Line–
Safe Help Line is the sexual assault website for the DOD community. Here you can find tips on understanding sexual assault, how to get help, find support groups for members of the armed forces who have been sexually assaulted, and most importantly this is a place where you can confidentially report a sexual assault.
MyDuty.mil is an active online resource with an overview of what sexual assault is, ways to prevent it and how to report it.
Military One Source is a DOD program that is designed to provide comprehensive information on every aspect of military life to service members and their families. Their services are available 24 hours a day both online and by phone.