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Preventing Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month social media graphic with a teal background and a dark teal ribbon symbolizing sexual violence prevention

Sexual assault remains a serious issue within the U.S. military. Victims of sexual assault experience long lasting impacts across every aspect of their well-being, including physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, social, and spiritual wellness. 

The Department of Defense observes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month by focusing on creating the appropriate culture to eliminate sexual assault and encouraging a personal commitment from all Service members to do their part to create a healthy environment.

Messages for Communicators

  • DOD is engaged in a long-term, comprehensive, organization-wide effort to decrease incidents of sexual assault.
  • DOD is equipping and empowering leadership at all levels to understand the problem of sexual assault and give them the support, policies, and tools to fight the problem.
  • The Military Health System offers a variety of health and wellness resources to assist victims, both mentally and physically.
  • There are steps individuals can take to prevent and respond to sexual assault in their community:
    • Be an engaged bystander and look out for each other’s safety.
    • Offer help if someone is in a circumstance where they don’t feel safe or don’t have complete control over themselves, for example, if they are intoxicated and need help getting home safely.
    • Contribute to a culture that does not condone sexual violence, including speaking up when friends or colleagues exhibit such behaviors.
    • Speak up when you become aware of an allegation of sexual abuse – perpetrators of sexual assault may repeat the behavior.
      • Report allegations to your commanders, supervisors, SAPR office, or law enforcement.
      • Call the DOD Safe Helpline - 877-995-5247
  • It is important to reduce the stigma around help-seeking behavior; being a victim of sexual assault is NOT a sign of weakness or failure.

Graphics

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Social Media Graphic featuring a dark teal ribbon and an image of a woman walking away from the camera


Sexual Assault Awareness Day of Action social media graphic featuring a teal background and an image of a white handprint outlined by a red circle

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