Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Annapolis-Area Commanders Sign Joint Proclamation in Support of Sexual Assault Prevention

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Annapolis hosted the first Joint Teal Ribbon Proclamation April 4 at the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Pavilion at NSA Annapolis.

Vice Adm. Walter "Ted" Carter, superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), was joined by Capt. Logan Jones, commanding officer of NSA Annapolis; Capt. Michael McGinnis, commanding officer of Naval Health Clinic Annapolis; and Cmdr. John Downes, commanding officer of the Navy Operational Support Center in Baltimore, Md., to sign this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) proclamation.

USNA Superintendent VADM Ted Carter signs the Joint Teal Ribbon
Proclamation in support of sexual assault prevention.

“Sexual assault is a community issue,” said Capt. Bart Marsh, USNA’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program manager. “It is not just one command’s issue. It is all commands’ issue. To have all four Annapolis-area commands come together to sign this proclamation and show their support in the education, prevention and response to sexual assault and to help those who fall victim to this is a special thing.”

April 1 marked the beginning of SAAPM, and this year’s theme is “Eliminate Sexual Assault: Know Your Part. Do Your Part.”

USNA Superintendent VADM Ted Carter speaks at the signing ceremony for
the Joint Teal Ribbon Proclamation in support of sexual assault prevention.

“This is not just for how we are going to make it better for the Navy, but for each and every one of us,” said Carter. “The difference we are going to make in the progress toward ending sexual assault and taking care of those affected will help make this a better command, a better unit and a better Navy.”

The joint SAAPM proclamation signifies the partnership between the four commands and their commitment to prevention and response to sexual assault.

“Having our uniformed members as well as our civilian supporters in attendance underscored the importance of collaboration and community as we bring everyone together for this important cause,” said Marsh.

During the event, sailors from USNA and NSA Annapolis read parts of “The Teal Letter,” a letter written by a group of sexual assault survivors who wanted to educate the public about the consequences of sexual assault and how it affects victims and survivors emotionally, physically, socially and mentally. These survivors want the public to understand the effects of such an experience so that they will be more likely to show compassion towards victims and less likely to blame, pass judgment on, or spread rumors about victims and survivors.

Michelle Herrera from the NSA Annapolis SAPR Office and Shari Freeman
from the USNA SAPR Office speak during the signing ceremony for the
Joint Teal Ribbon Proclamation in support of sexual assault prevention.

“My hope for the sailors is to see that this topic is important to not only the sexual assault response coordinator (SARC) and victim advocates but also to leadership,” said Michelle Herrera, NSA Annapolis Installation SARC. “I hope if there were victims or survivors present that they feel they can come to any of us for help and know now who to turn to.”

The mission of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program is to prevent and respond to sexual assault, eliminating it from the military through a balance of focused education, comprehensive response, compassionate advocacy, and just adjudication in order to promote professionalism, respect, and trust, while preserving mission readiness.

1 comment:

  1. I would suggest to those victims that they carry guns, but unfortunately that is very hard to obtain a permit for in the state of Maryland. Concealed-carry should be easy and legal everywhere so that law-abiding citizens can protect themselves—especially women from rape. There are not many things that deter a rapist more effectively than a pocket .380.

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