National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Monday April 2, 2012

What is it?

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise public awareness and educate communities on the prevention of sexual violence. As a public health, human rights and social justice issue, sexual violence affects many and has secondary and tertiary effects on society. During the month of April, state, territory, tribal and community-based organizations, rape crisis centers, government agencies, businesses and campuses recognize SAAM through planned events and activities to reinforce prevention efforts.

What has the Army done?

- The Department of the Army's SAAM observance is in its eighth year and continues to convey the Army's commitment to achieve cultural change by eradicating sexual assault and sexual harassment through its prevention, investigation, prosecution and survivor support/protection efforts.

- Agencies and organizations throughout the Army will plan and execute appropriate commemorative activities to celebrate Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

- The Army's 2012 SAAM proclamation and theme "Achieving Cultural Change through Dignity and Respect" is designed to strengthen leadership's commitment at all levels and reinforce the importance of respect and dignity.

What efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

- The Army has significantly raised awareness about sexual harassment and sexual assault through the proliferation of required training in all units, in primary military education courses, and among first responders.

- The Army will continue to aggressively address sexual harassment and sexual assault issues by focusing on increasing capabilities in the areas of prevention, investigation, prosecution and survivor support/protection.

Why is this important to the Army?

Senior Leaders consider the sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention strategy an integral part of the "Profession of Arms" doctrine. These principles are based on ethical beliefs, the capacities of self-command, empathy and morale pride. Professional Soldiers must be immersed in the environment and culture of the profession of arms early in their careers. One of the Army's prevention initiatives is to focus on achieving cultural change to eliminate sexual assault and sexual harassment from the ranks. Indoctrinating new recruits and first-term Soldiers on prevention of sexual assault will lead to a collective and committed team across the force. In addition, leaders at all echelons are required to take responsibility, be motivated to act, overcome their fears to intervene and establish an environment free from sexual harassment and sexual assault.


SHARP website

Eighth Army hosts SHARP training in South Korea

Feb. 9, 2012 -- Gen. Raymond T. Odierno remarks to House Army Caucus Breakfast







A Culture of Engagement

Social Media


*Active duty and active Guard-Reserve majors and lieutenant colonels interested in competing to become Professors of Military Science through ROTC need to begin the application process now.*

Sexual Harassment/ Assault Response & Prevention

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Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno's Blog

U.S. Army Medical Command

U.S. Army Interactive Features


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Senior Leaders are Saying

"Sexual assault is, frankly, absolutely inconsistent with our Army values ... One of the things we talk about is that as a Soldier, we have each other's back. We take care of each other. Sexual assault and the problem we have in the Army does not fit into that category. So, we are dedicated to establish a campaign for awareness, to change a culture, to understand that we are Soldiers together, that we will protect each other no matter where and when."

- Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, at the House Army Caucus Breakfast, Feb. 9, 2012

Feb. 9, 2012 -- Gen. Raymond T. Odierno remarks to House Army Caucus Breakfast

What They're Saying

"The SHARP program currently being trained approaches sexual violence as a whole, meaning that sexual harassment infractions are viewed as possible precursors to sexual assault crimes. Bystander intervention is one of the SHARP program cornerstones, as everyone is not only charged with being able to recognize signs of sexual violence, but also to draw upon their sense of responsibility to act and motivate others in stopping the situation. One of the main take aways from the training is that we are brothers and sisters in arms and that sexual harassment and sexual assault are incompatible with our Army Values and Warrior Ethos."

- Curtis Smith, Lead Instructor, SHARP Program, Eighth Army Sexual Assault Prevention Training, Feb 12, 2012.

Eighth Army hosts SHARP training in South Korea


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