Nationally, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) occurs in April and 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. DoD policies address sexual assault prevention and seek to establish a climate of confidence in which:
- education and training create an environment in which sexual assault and the attitudes that promote it are not tolerated;
- victims of sexual assault receive the care and support that they need; and,
- offenders are held accountable for their actions.
Everyone has a role in stopping sexual assault and localizing SAAM activities is a great way to extend this message. To assist local efforts, SAPRO has provided each command and installation with event materials, many of which are customizable.
About the campaign —
Hurts one. Affects all…Preventing sexual assault is everyone’s duty
The Campaign focuses on the effects sexual assault has on the military’s mission readiness. As is readily understood throughout the military, mission readiness defines a unit’s ability to deploy quickly and efficiently. A sexual assault can reverberate throughout a unit and beyond, degrading readiness by harming the life of the victim, and the military’s ability to work effectively as a team. This theme provides SARCs the opportunity to speak with commanders and senior enlisted leaders about maintaining mission readiness and preventing this crime. “Hurts one. Affects all” not only conveys that sexual assault affects the victim, it affects bystanders. Preserving mission readiness can serve, then, as motivation for acts of bystander intervention. Each Military Service will have a series of posters that illustrate real-life situations encouraging everyone to get involved.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office- SAPRO is responsible for oversight of the Department’s sexual assault policy. SAPRO works hand-in-hand with the Services and the civilian community to develop and implement innovative prevention and response programs. The SAPRO website is a resource for all those who deal with or have been affected by this sensitve issue.