By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cory Asato, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest
SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) — Naval Base Kitsap’s Fleet and Family Support Center hosted a breakfast to recognize Navy Region Northwest Sailors who serve as Sexual Abuse Prevention and Response (SAPR) victim advocates, April 30.
The Sailors were recognized for their dedication and efforts while serving the local Navy community as SAPR advocates.
“Each April, during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we salute the compassionate people who make a difference in the lives of sexual assault victims throughout the year,” said Sharlyne Hays, NBK’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator. “Our mission is to offer victims of sexual assault the guidance, stability and companionship that are essential to becoming survivors.”
“We are able to accomplish this thanks to the ongoing commitment from these selfless Sailors who serve as Credentialed Volunteer Victim Advocates,” said Hays.
While the breakfast served as venue to appreciate the hard work of the Sailors present they still ensured that Hays received her due credit.
It’s because of the guidance and mentorship of [Hays] that we can continue to promote the awareness and prevention of sexual assault amongst our shipmates,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Jonathan McClellan, and SAPR VA, from Ft. Morgan, Colo. “It’s a growing, successful endeavor all of us have taken forth to minimize the risk of sexual assault and for every victim to know it is not their fault.”
The threat of sexual assault is one of many that can turn the everyday environment for a Sailor hostile and thanks to the strides that these Sailors have taken, Navy leadership can recognize the change in culture.
“These victims are faced with probably the most traumatic, life-changing event to date and although they may not always have the opportunity to give due thanks to our advocates these Sailors are still willing to respond in the middle of the night and even travel across country in the case of a court trial,” said Capt. CJ Carter, NBK’s executive officer, from Beverly, Mass.