“Sexual assault has no place in this department,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “It is an affront to the basic American values we defend and to the good honor of our service members and their families.”
In recent years, the Marine Corps has placed an increasing focus on preventing sexual assault.
DOD officials delivered a report showing 3,192 reports of sexual assault in fiscal 2011 compared with 3,158 in fiscal 2010.
It falls on everyone’s shoulders to prevent sexual assault, from the private to the commandant. That is why it is so important everyone is familiar with the programs the Marine Corps offers to help prevent sexual assault.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program was created to eliminate incidents of sexual assault through awareness, prevention, training, education, reporting, response, victim advocacy, and accountability.
All Marines are required to attend sexual assault prevention training annually. For those who have served for several years, they have seen the training change.
Through focus groups surveys and several other means of contact, officials with SAPR have changed their presentations from the death by PowerPoint slideshows that resembled the ‘Dangers of Sex’ videos many watched before their high school prom. Now, the Corps’ sexual assault prevention symposiums contain interactive presentations with actual Navy and Marine Corps victims who openly discuss what happened and how it affected them.
Marines are also trained to identify if a potential assault situation is developing and provide different methods to prevent the situation from escalating to actual assaults.
While the symposiums are mostly educational, they also provide an opportunity for Marines, regardless of rank, to provide input on how they feel sexual assaults can be prevented.
For more information on sexual assault prevention, visit http://www.usmc-mccs.org/sapro/faqs.cfm?sid=ml&smid=7.