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Sexual assault impacts Navy mission

By Petty Officer 1st Class Jacquelyn Childs | Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command Public Affairs | April 19, 2017


In the Navy, “Ship-Shipmate-Self” is a common phrase emphasizing the importance of taking care of the ship, taking care of our shipmates and taking care of ourselves in order to complete the mission at hand. Sexual assault has a huge impact on the mission by affecting shipmate and self.

This year’s Department of Defense Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, or SAAPM, theme is “Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission” and this couldn’t be truer than in the Navy, where life and death both on and off duty can depend on the people we work with.

When operating at sea or down range on the field, everyone must do their part in order to maintain safety and dependence on one another is critical. But the dependency on shipmates doesn’t stop at the end of the work day.

After the work is done and the ship pulls into port in a foreign land, your “family” on board is most likely the only people you know in a land full of strangers.

“Sexual assault directly impacts our mission while it impacts our Sailors and those around them,” said Seletha Jones-Willis, Navy Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Joint Base San Antonio.  “Sexual violence knows no economic, racial, gender or social status boundaries and can take place anywhere, anytime.


“Navy personnel are responsible for taking action against behaviors that fuel sexual harassment and sexual violence. It's time for those who think it's not their business to intervene,” Jones-Willis added. “When will we stop blaming the victim and start holding the perpetrator accountable for their unconscionable behavior?  When will we truly start believing ‘Protecting Our People Protects the Mission’?”


If you or someone you know needs to report a sexual assault, call the Department of Defense Safe Helpline at 1-877-995-5247 or the Joint Base San Antonio 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 210-808-SARC (7272). 

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Ship-Shipmate-Self