By Adm. Michelle Howard
Vice Chief of Naval Operations
I want to provide you a follow-up from my last blog in September where I highlighted the importance of the RAND Military Workplace Study as a tool to help leaders understand your workplace conditions.
First, thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. Nearly 29,000 of you participated. Here are what I believe are the key findings:
– There has been a decrease in the number of Sailors who experienced unwanted sexual contact over the last year.
o Navy prevalence rates show that in FY2014, 5.1% of women and 1.1% of men in the Navy experienced unwanted sexual contact, down from 7.2% of women and 2.7% of men in FY2012.
– Sexual assault is still an underreported crime, but we are making some progress.
o In 2014, 1 in 5 victims reported, up from 1 in 17 in 2012.
– Women are more likely than men to report that they have experienced a sexual assault.
o Of Female Sailors that experienced sexual assault, 1 out of 3 (32%) made a report.
o Of Male Sailors that experienced sexual assault, 1 out of 12 (8%) made a report.
– Based on command climate survey, Sailors are intervening when they see something wrong.
o Of Sailors who said they witnessed inappropriate behavior, 9 out of 10 took action and intervened.
I need to say thank you and congratulate you on the high bystander intervention. I am proud of all of you for having the courage to stand-up and take care of your shipmates.
While I believe we’ve made positive progress, we must continue to improve. Over the next few months, I will be having conversations with Navy leadership about our next steps. I am pleased to say that we are leaning forward with efforts underway to better understand and mitigate victim retaliation, increase male reporting, and ensure the highest levels of victim privacy and confidentiality.
In order to remain a strong Navy Team, we must continually assess our strengths and weaknesses and collectively take actions to improve. Keep providing your leadership candid and honest feedback about your workplace environment and the effectiveness of our efforts to make things better. Continue to take care of your shipmates. Doing these things will enhance our readiness as Warfighters; keeping us strong, sharp and at the ready. We owe this to ourselves, our Shipmates, the Navy and the Country.