Tuesday, April 19, 2011

79th SSC National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Observance - April 2011

To 79th SSC Soldiers, Civilians, and Families

The national observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is 1-30 April 2011. This year the campaign themes for the nation and the U.S. Army are united in their focus. This is a strong message and tells us that we are not alone in our conviction to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual assault from our communities.

The national theme “It’s time … to get involved,” and the U.S. Army theme “I. A.M. Strong: Achieving Cultural Change to Stop Sexual Assault,” focus on everyone speaking up to prevent sexual violence in our communities, workplaces and schools. Both campaigns incorporate a bystander approach to sexual violence prevention which explores common everyday behaviors and offers individuals viable, responsible ways to intervene. A bystander, or witness, is anyone who sees a situation and has the opportunity to act. Research shows that engaging bystanders is a promising way to help prevent sexual violence. This engagement will educate and motivate people who may or may not know what to do, may think others will act, or may simply be afraid to do something. As a community, we must eliminate all excuses and aggressively ensure a culture that bears no victim unaided.

I ask Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members to re-dedicate their efforts toward preventing sexual assault and creating a positive climate enhanced through the "I. A.M. Strong" campaign. Our Army Values call us to be proactive – to “Intervene, Act, and Motivate” others to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. As stated by President Obama, “With each new victim and each person still suffering from an attack, we are called with renewed purpose to respond to and rid our Nation of all forms of sexual violence.” Together we can and must stop violence against our fellow comrades in the Profession of Arms.

Additional information about the U.S. Army’s observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month can be found at: http://www.sexualassault.army.mil/.

I encourage leaders at all levels to support special observances and activities that impart the message of the “I. A.M. Strong” campaign and of bystander prevention education.

Major General, US Army Reserve

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