The Army announced today, July 30, a summit planned for Sept. 8-12 in Alexandria, Va., to help train its personnel who manage the Army's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. The summit will refocus the overall direction of the program centered on sexual assault prevention, risk reduction, and fellow Soldier intervention.

"The goal of our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program is to create a climate where Soldiers live the Army Values, thereby eliminating incidents of sexual assault," said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren. "Soldiers must understand that they can report incidents when they do occur, without fear, knowing they will receive the help and care they deserve, and leaders must ensure that offenders receive appropriate action," he said.

The summit will include national subject matter experts, senior Army leaders and their Sexual Assault Program Managers, and Army training developers.

The Army is finalizing a range of new programs focused on addressing negative social influencers, increasing peer-to-peer bystander intervention, teaching Soldiers how to stop assaults before they occur, and aligning all prevention measures with the Army's values.

Army leaders have been analyzing program components and the details of these new initiatives will be announced at the summit. As the Army continues to aggressively implement and improve the prevention initiatives within the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program, it will also maintain the strong response initiatives already implemented.

The Army has built an Army-wide victim-advocacy program, which includes highly trained professional sexual assault response coordinators, at each installation. The advocacy program extends to deployed units through Deployable Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Unit Victim Advocates.

Leadership responsibility is central to the Army's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program. Senior mission commanders execute a program that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in both garrison and deployed environments, with a support team whose members have successfully completed First Responder Training. Commanders hold monthly Sexual Assault Review Boards to review cases, assess and improve program execution, and provide oversight, guidance, and feedback. Commanders ensure that Soldiers receive mandatory annual unit-level sexual assault prevention training, as well as sexual assault prevention and response training, during pre- and post-deployment activities.

"Sexual assault is a crime and has no place in the Army," Geren said. "The Army must continue to address sexual assault issues aggressively to maintain a mission-ready fighting force, with all members looking out for the welfare of their teammates."
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For more information, call U.S. Army Public Affairs at (703) 697-2564.

Page last updated Wed July 30th, 2008 at 17:47