CORONADO, Calif (NNS) – Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command (CNSWC) signed a proclamation declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), April 26, at CNSWC.
Rear Adm. Tim Szymanski signed the proclamation on Coronado beach to kick off the command-sponsored “End Sexual Assault Volleyball Tournament,” meant to bring awareness to Sailors as part of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response campaign.
The 2017 SAAPM theme is “protecting our people protects our mission.”
“Destructive behaviors, such as sexual assault, erode the very fabric of our team and it creates a toxic culture that ultimately affects our performance and the overall mission,” said Lt. Erica Gomez, the force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response officer. “What can we do to make a change? It’s simple. Change starts with you. If you recognize destructive behaviors within our ranks or within yourself, step up and crush it out. Hold yourself and others around you accountable to do the right thing. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Gomez.
Five teams from various NSW west coast elements competed in the volleyball tournament. In addition to hosting the tournament and in order to raise awareness about the issue, NSWC service members participated in two other local SAAPM events including an annual sandcastle competition sponsored by the Fleet and Family Support Center, and the annual SAAPM 5k run at Naval Air Station North Island and sponsored by the Morale Welfare and Recreation Center.
“It’s important to me to be able to participate in events that help raise awareness on the issue and promotes unit cohesion between all of my fellow Sailors,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class A.J. Gonzalez, who participated in all three events. “Ship, shipmate, self; putting other Sailors before yourself is a Navy tradition.”
The five NSW teams volleyed it out under the heat of the Coronado sun and the NSWC team walked away as the first NSW SAAPM volleyball champion.
For more information about the Navy’s efforts to combat sexual assault, please visit www.sapr.navy.mil/
For more information about Naval Special Warfare Command, please visit www.public.navy.mil/NSW/