The Department of Defense has kicked off its 17th annual observance of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), carrying over the 2020 theme, "Protecting Our People Protects Our Mission." Everyone, regardless of rank, can protect our mission by ensuring everyone is committed to creating an environment where sexist behaviors, sexual harassment, hazing, bullying, and sexual assault are not tolerated, condoned, or ignored. SAAPM is an opportunity to highlight the outstanding care for those who have experienced sexual assault and the innovative ways we work to incorporate sexual assault prevention into our daily mission.

Marine Corps leaders work diligently to ensure command climates combat sexual assault, encourage reporting, and are free from retaliation. Commanders, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC), Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocates (VA), medical providers, counselors, and Victims’ Legal Counsel provide responsive, sensitive, and timely support for survivors of sexual assault. Investigative agencies and judge advocates ensure each unrestricted report of sexual assault properly advances through the military justice process. Most notably, Marines of all ranks are taking action to prevent sexual assault and eliminate retaliation against those who report.

Marines are encouraged to show their support to the survivors of sexual assault and their installation’s prevention efforts by attending locally or virtually scheduled events during the 2021 SAAPM. Please contact your SARC or SAPR VA for a list of SAAPM events or to help organize an event.