In a message addressed to both civilian employees and military personnel, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stressed "We own it...we'll solve it...together", concerning Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.
Hagel views Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month as an
opportunity for the entire Department of Defense community -- service members, civilians,
members of families and leaders at every level -- to underscore a
commitment to eliminating the crime of sexual assault. Additionally, Hegel added that supporting
victims, and intervening when appropriate to help stop unsafe
behavior also needed consideration, as well.
He wrote, "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."
Hagel closed his message by stressing that airmen, marines, soldiers, and sailors 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," Hagel said.