Hagel Releases Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Message

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urges Defense Department personnel and the DoD community to invoke the values of service, sacrifice, loyalty and integrity to end sexual violence in his Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month message.

Acknowledging that the DoD community must own the issue and work to solve it together, Hagel calls on everyone – from service members to civilians, leaders and military family members – to create a culture where dignity and respect is afforded to all, and the fear of sexual violence no longer exists.

Here’s what he has to say:

“This month, the Department of Defense observes Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with the theme “We own it…we’ll solve it…together.”

“Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is an opportunity for the entire DoD community – service members, civilians, members of our families and leaders at every level – to underscore our commitment to eliminating the crime of sexual assault, supporting victims, and intervening when appropriate to help stop unsafe behavior.

“Together, we must work every day to instill a climate that does not tolerate or ignore sexist behavior, sexual harassment, or sexual assault.  These have no place in the United States military and violate everything we stand for and the values we defend.  Creating a culture free of the scourge of sexual assault requires establishing an environment where dignity and respect is afforded to all, and where diversity is celebrated as one of our greatest assets as a force.

“We are strong because of our values of service, sacrifice and loyalty – and doing what is right.  We watch out for each other and respect each other.  By drawing on these strengths, we can and we must stop sexual assault within our ranks.

“Remember, we own it…we’ll solve it…together.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, visit http://www.myduty.mil or http://www.sapr.mil to learn more about seeking support.

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