Navy’s Newest Sexual Assault Survey – Make Your Voice Heard

By Rear Adm. Sean S. Buck
Director, 21st Century Sailor Office

Shipmates,

The Secretary of the Navy has directed the Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DON SAPRO) to conduct a survey to update the current status of sexual assaults in our Navy and Marine Corps. We need all of you to strongly consider taking this voluntary survey and share your thoughts on this critically important topic.

Capt. Jeffrey Ruth, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), conducts sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) training for Sailors.

Capt. Jeffrey Ruth, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), conducts sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) training for Sailors.

As many of you have communicated, we’ve made significant strides in our SAPR efforts over the past year. It is clear that our training efforts are starting to pay off, but it is also clear that we still have work to do to fully appreciate the prevalence (the scope) of sexual assault in the Navy. This is mainly determined by confidential and/or anonymous surveys. When the number of actual reports match survey results with respect to prevalence and they both begin to significantly decline, we will know that we have begun to reduce incidents of sexual assault from our ranks.

Based on the feedback that I am getting from the Fleet; Sailors know exactly what sexual assault is, Sailors better understand the reporting process and are beginning to feel more comfortable coming forward to report-as evidenced by the increase in the number of sexual assaults being reported in FY13. That is a good start, but we have a ways to go.

When I visit with Sailors, I am constantly asked, “what else can I do to make a difference?” Besides looking out for your shipmates and actively intervening when necessary, surveys like this are your chance to do something, to make your voice heard.

A Central Michigan University educator speaks to Sailors and Marines during the 'No Zebras, No Excuses' sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) program aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

A Central Michigan University educator speaks to Sailors and Marines during the ‘No Zebras, No Excuses’ sexual assault prevention and response (SAPR) program aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8).

Why do we need to gather this information?

  • To more accurately determine the prevalence of sexual assaults in the Navy
  • To determine the circumstances surrounding those assaults
  • To learn what factors are barriers to a Sailor coming forward to report
  • To determine the way ahead on sustaining training and education efforts with respect to SAPR

How is this information going to be used?

  • To help build and assess our sexual assault prevention and victim support programs and policies
  • Your answers are voluntary and completely anonymous

How and when can you take the survey?

  • The survey can be found at www.donsapro.navy.mil/donsas.html and can be accessed from any computer, tablet or smartphone
  • The survey will run from October 15, 2013 until January 6, 2014
  • The password to take the survey is 2013Survey

The Navy needs your participation to gather this information so that we can better understand our current environment and determine if our programs are working the way we intend them to. I ask you to provide your honest input and encourage your fellow shipmates to support this survey and all our SAPR efforts.

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Navy’s Newest Sexual Assault Survey – Make Your Voice Heard