Washington, DC - The Navy announced the 2014 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) theme of "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault" and issued guidance to focus efforts on awareness and prevention of sexual violence in NAVADMIN 066/14.

The goal of the month is for individual commands to pause and reflect on what the Navy has accomplished over the past year with regard to sexual assault prevention and response and to look into the future as to how we can continue to eradicate this crime from our ranks. Commands are empowered to take ownership of this problem.

"Navy's recognition of SAAM 2014 is a component of our efforts in the 21st Century Sailor Office to build a resilient Navy community and will use the theme "Live Our Values: Step Up to Stop Sexual Assault" to highlight bystander intervention and accountability," said Rear Adm. Sean Buck, director, 21st Century Sailor Office. "We'd like Sailors to take the first half of the month to reflect on the efforts we've put in place this past year and how we've tackled sexual assault. The second half of April will focus on Sailors dedicating themselves to be active bystanders - to step up and intervene in potentially destructive situations."

In addition to asking Sailors to sit down and talk about sexual assault prevention, commands are encouraged to organize any number of events to highlight the awareness and prevention of sexual assaults. Some of the suggested events include hanging ribbons on trees around base, hosting "Meet your SARC and victim advocate" events, organizing skits at the local base theater and other such activities to raise awareness during the month of April.

"In the past few months of traveling to meet the fleet, I've noticed that Sailors themselves are stepping up and taking charge," said Buck. "I encourage you to continue to look out for your shipmates and step up to stop sexual assault."

Sailors can also find information, references and resources at www.sapr.navy.mil to help them determine how they would like their individual command to observe this month. The website also includes resources for victims of sexual assault to reach out and get help.
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor Office which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy. The Department of the Navy is working aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims and to hold offenders accountable.

For more information, read NAVADMIN 066/14 at www.npc.navy.mil and go to www.sapr.navy.mil and click on SAAM 2014.