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Navy Supports Sexual Assault Awareness Month Theme

WASHINGTON -- The Navy announced the 2013 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) theme of "Courage" and issued guidance to focus efforts on awareness and prevention of sexual violence in NAVADMIN 075/13 released March 25.   The Navy's theme for the month is "Courage" and will support the Department of Defense's theme of "We own it...we'll solve it ...together." The goal is to empower commands to take ownership of this problem.   "Navy's recognition of SAAM 2013 is a component of our efforts to build a resilient Navy community and will use the theme of "Courage" to build the tactics for this year's campaign," said Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk, chief of naval personnel. "Weekly themes will underscore the courage it takes to intervene when Shipmates see inappropriate behaviors, as well as the courage to step forward as a victim to seek help, the courage of Shipmates to support victims to make them feel safe in their units and the courage necessary to do the right thing - both for yourself and your shipmates."   Each week, the Navy will highlight a subtheme - courage to learn, courage to prevent, courage to intervene, courage to support and courage to commit.   "Navy installations and commands around the world will be organizing activities to raise awareness of sexual assault throughout the month. All units are encouraged to participate and promote SAAM events," said Van Buskirk. "This year, we are also encouraging Sailors to participate in a video contest to give them the chance to provide a fresh look at how to combat this problem. It provides Sailors an opportunity for personal involvement in communicating key messages."

Sailors can submit individual and team videos by mail or by uploading them to the FTP site through April 19. Criteria for evaluating entries will include storytelling ability, originality, creativity and technical quality. The contest is open to active duty, Reserve and full-time-support Sailors. The winning submission will be broadcast on Direct-to-Sailor Television and provided to the American Forces Network and Pentagon channel. Contest rules and procedures are posted at www.sapr.navy.mil.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Department. The Department of the Navy (DoN) is working aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims and to hold offenders accountable.

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