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Anonymous survey asks sailors about sex assault experiences

Oct. 15, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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The Navy and Marine Corps are teaming up reduce sexual assault within their services, and getting input from sailors and Marines is a top priority.

A voluntary anonymous survey went live online Oct. 15 , and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus hopes it will help leaders identify trends.

Where to take it

The survey is online at . The password is “2013Survey” and it will be open until Jan. 6, 2014.

“While no tool is perfect, confidential and anonymous surveys provide a valuable different mechanism to learn about the perspectives and experiences of individual sailors and Marines,” Mabus wrote in the recent servicewide message, ALNAV 070/13.

What it asks

The survey gauges not only the frequency of sexual assaults, but the circumstances surrounding them and the factors affecting whether a sailor or Marine reports them.

It's a step in the right direction

The department believes a recent uptick in sexual assault reporting is the result of sailors and Marines becoming more familiar with what qualifies as a sexual assault, as well as more comfortable with the services’ Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs.

“Our simultaneous goals are to prevent, if not eliminate, sexual assaults involving sailors and Marines; to ensure effective support for sexual assault victims; and to hold offenders appropriately accountable,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, there is no proven road map for achieving success.”

It's not mandatory, but it's important

“The success of this survey, just like our larger efforts to combat sexual assault, depends on the support and contribution of sailors and Marines worldwide,” Mabus wrote. “I encourage every sailor and Marine to participate.”

He added that commanders and leaders at all levels are expected to encourage their troops to participate as well.

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