7th Fleet Staff, Blue Ridge Stand Down for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

Chief Aerographer's Mate Stella Swartz speaks with Sailors from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet staff and flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCCC 19) participate in awareness training during a Sexual Assault and Awareness Month (SAPM) stand-down at Fleet Theater, Yokosuka, April 10, 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jared Harral

Chief Aerographer’s Mate Stella Swartz speaks with Sailors from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet staff and flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCCC 19) participate in awareness training during a Sexual Assault and Awareness Month (SAPM) stand-down at Fleet Theater, Yokosuka, April 10, 2015.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jared Harral

YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 10, 2015) – Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet staff and flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) personnel continued their push for Sexual Assault  Prevention and Response (SAPR) awareness by conducting a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) stand-down at Fleet Theater, Yokosuka April 10, 2014.

The stand-down is part of a month-long Navy-wide initiative to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual violence through use of special events and public education.

During the stand-down, 7th Fleet sexual assault victim advocates performed skits, led discussions and provided information to demonstrate that sexual related crimes are an issue in the Navy and that the solution to the issue starts with each Sailor changing how they think about sexual assault, harassment and conduct in the workplace or on liberty.

“The end result is that we want Sailors to take ownership, be active bystanders and get involved in their peer group to eliminate other Sailors from making bad decisions that could have a long term negative effect on their lives,” said Chief Cryptologic Technician Maintenance Michael Horton, command SAPR. “The training focuses on understanding that it should be a culture of change to want to do better for their peers and ultimately better for themselves.”

The theme for this year’s SAAPM is “Eliminate sexual assault. Know your part. Do your Part” and the stand-down provided guidance on how to intervene when appropriate, report crimes, and support victims to help stop sexual assault and sexual harassment.

The training also discussed Navy policies that address sexual assault prevention and the goal to establish a climate of change in which education and training can create an environment where sexual assault and the attitudes that promote it are not tolerated and ultimately eliminated; where victims of sexual assault can receive the care, support and protection that they need; and where offenders are held appropriately accountable for their actions.

“For the Fleet, it’s and all hands effort; these types of open discussion, are very important to increase our awareness of sexual assault prevention and response,” said Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas Jr., commander, U.S. 7th Fleet. “I encourage all of you to talk with each other up and down the chain of command. Not just during this month, but throughout the year. That’s what’s going to make us stronger as a 7th Fleet and as a Navy.”

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