National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What is it?

National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) is observed each year during the month of April to raise awareness and educate communities on the prevention of sexual assault.

The Army’s 2017 theme is “Sexual Assault. Sexual Harassment. Not in Our Army.” This theme reinforces the mindset that all members of the Army team are empowered and have a responsibility to address sexual assault, sexual harassment, retaliation and the behaviors that lead to such indiscipline so they do not detract from mission readiness.

What has the Army done?

Army leaders are responsible for ensuring a values-based prevention climate free of sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation. By doing so, they protect the well-being of the Soldiers, Army Civilians and Family Members under their responsibility and reinforce values of dignity and respect.

The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program’s primary mission is the prevention of sexual assault/harassment as a means to support Army commanders in their efforts to maintain the highest levels of unit and organizational readiness.

As the proponent of the SHARP Program, commanders must ensure every report is taken seriously, investigations are completed in a thorough and timely fashion, and offenders are held appropriately accountable.

The SHARP Academy, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has graduated more than 900 sexual assault response coordinators, victim advocates, and trainers since 2014. It’s the first full-time schoolhouse of its kind in the Department of Defense.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

The Army continues its focus on prevention through the development of initiatives such as Mind’s Eye II leader development program by incorporating the Emergent Leader Immersive Training Environment (ELITE) Command Team Trainer (CTT) in the Pre-Command Course, and through the continued professionalization of its SHARP personnel through new and enhanced training curriculum and innovative, interactive trainings such as the ELITE Prevention and Outreach Simulation Trainer (POST) and the Digital Sexual Assault Survivor formulated from the experiences of a male Soldier.

In their integral role in the Army’s drive to end sexual assault/harassment, Army commanders will continue to enforce Army standards to prevent sexual offenses from occurring.

Why is this important to the Army?

There is no place for sexual harassment, sexual assault or retaliation in the Army. While preventing sexual assault and enhancing mission readiness is a perpetual effort, SAAPM provides an opportunity for all members of the Army team to make a personal and public commitment to ending sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation from the ranks.

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