Pentagon Announces Sexual Assault Prevention CampaignMarch 10, 2009
I was glad to read this morning that the U.S. Department of Defense is preparing to launch a new sexual assault prevention campaign. Last year I was horrified by the Congressional hearings on sexual assault in the military, which revealed that over one-fourth of women in the military had been sexually assaulted or raped while on duty, so I see DOD’s acknowledgment of and plans for addressing this problem as a positive move.
Kaye Whitley, director of the department’s sexual assault prevention and response program said she hopes the campaign can persuade people to “behave in ways that improve their own personal welfare and that of society. The campaign makes it very clear that each military member has a moral duty to step up and take action to prevent sexual assault.”
The theme for this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April focuses on prevention in the workplace. In line with this theme, in April DOD will launch a marketing campaign featuring two public service announcements about sexual assault in the military. Their prevention and response plans also include addressing the issue at all levels of military and using bystander intervention techniques.
“As the comprehensive strategy takes hold over the years, we look forward to the day that those numbers decrease, not because of fear or stigma of reporting, but because sexual assault is being systematically prevented,” Whitley said.
I look forward to that day, too!