Sexual Assault Awareness Month: We own it...We'll solve it...Together
April 3, 2013
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month across the Army and is part of a national initiative that designates the month of April to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.
As part of the cultural change effort, the Army launched the I. A.M. Strong Campaign. It targets eradication of a passive bystander mentality. It teaches Soldiers to "Intervene, Act, and Motivate" to prevent sexual violence when they see improper and demeaning behaviors, sexual harassment, or sexual assault.
In September 2008, the Army launched Phase I of a sexual assault prevention strategy at the first annual SHARP Summit. Phase I, "Committed Army Leadership," was the first of four integrated phases. Phase II, "Army-wide Conviction" began during third Summit held in April 2010. The 4th Annual "I. A.M. Strong" Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention Summit (April 2011) launched Phase III of the "I. A.M. Strong" campaign, "Achieving Cultural Change." Former Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey, Jr., dubbed sexual assault the "danger within" and urged Army leaders to get to the crux of the issue and assess the effectiveness of its efforts to rid the Army of sexual misconduct. He asked them to focus on creating an Army culture that prevents sexual assault, "The Army is proud to be a part of the national agenda for sexual assault and awareness."
"As members of Army Medicine Team, we are all duty bound to Intervene, Act and Motivate others to stop sexual assaults, sexually offensive language and gestures that promote this type of abuse," said Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, surgeon general and commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command. "Command Sgt. Maj. Brock and I entrust each and every one of you to do your part to help put an end to this unwanted and uncalled for behavior. We know that you will continue to do the right thing and look out for your battle buddies."
The Army Medical Department (AMEDD) goals are to increase the medical readiness of the Army and ensure the deployment of healthy, resilient and fit Soldiers. As the role of the AMEDD transforms from a healthcare system to a system for health, quality healthcare for victims of sexual assault begins with a prevention focus and continues beyond the forensic exam to restorative health and wellness.
The Department of Defense's Theme: We own it...We'll solve it...Together
*We own it. Emphasize we own this problem and our commitment to solving it. Commanders and senior enlisted leaders set and enforce standards of discipline within our organizations and are the key to creating a culture free from sexual assault.
*We'll solve it. Leaders establish a culture where bystanders intervene, offenders are held appropriately accountable, victims are provided high-quality care and every Soldier is treated with dignity and respect. Combating sexual assault requires strong prevention efforts, sustained progress, innovative approaches and a multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary strategy.
*Together. Reinforce the many ways we work within each Service, across DoD and with our communities to solve it. We all have a role in combating sexual assault. It is essential that every Service member, at every level in our military, lives and leads with values that are worthy of our profession of arms.