DoD Recognizes Innovative Initiatives to Prevent Sexual Assault


Sexual assault prevention goes beyond an hour of training, an awareness campaign, or an inspiring poster. Preventing sexual assault requires sustained progress, innovative methodologies, and a commitment from every service member, not just the military sexual assault response professionals. 

Officials in the Defense Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said service members and Defense Department civilians around the world are finding creative ways to add their voices to the call to prevent the crime of sexual assault in the military. DoD leaders encourage this “outside the box” thinking, they added, and see it as an essential factor in the force-wide campaign to prevent and respond to sexual assault.

Each year, the Department presents the Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award to acknowledge personnel or units from each military component who have developed and delivered targeted initiatives that positively affect military readiness. The award is an excellent opportunity for leaders across DoD to recognize those who have demonstrated a personal commitment to prevent the crime of sexual assault and to underscore the importance of creating unique prevention programs that resonate with unit members, officials said.

Individuals, Organizations Deserving of Recognition

“This year’s award recipients embody the innovation, excellence, and professionalism that we want to see from all who serve,” said Army Maj. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, director of the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. “Preventing sexual assault requires a personal commitment to upholding the core values that are associated with military service – and each of these recipients are an example to us all.”

“The range of the types of projects put forward by all the awardees underscores the importance that we look at prevention as a multi-faceted effort,” Nichols said.

The 2016 Sexual Assault Prevention Innovation Award awardees are:

-- Army: The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention team at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, Louisiana, for their approach of focusing on the bystander for intervention, squad leader empowerment and development of dynamic tools that promote awareness and prevention at the soldier and squad level.

-- Marine Corps: 1st Marine Logistics Group at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, for their collaboration with Combat Camera and the sexual assault response coordinator to develop “Just Another Night," an interactive skit aimed at bystander intervention.

-- Navy: Damon Pratt and Cmdr. Kim Donahue for their adapted approach for a “Take Back the Night” and “The Labyrinth” event that was relevant to the unique environment on the USS George Washington to prevent and ultimately end sexual, relationship and domestic violence in all forms.

-- Air Force: Capt. Amara Adams for her development of the Victim Care, Outreach, Team development, and Evolution, or VOTE concept, a prevention model that ties into electoral promotions while simplifying and rebranding “consent first” practices.

-- National Guard Bureau: Army Staff Sgt. Gary Brumley, Kentucky National Guard, for development of improved training to address sexual assault prevention, healthy relationships, bystander intervention in social settings and addressing other forms of sexual violence to build awareness that led to targeted training for the most at-risk population.

-- Coast Guard: The Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program for Command Cadre Team is recognized for their creation of a comprehensive, standardized, repeatable six-hour module focused on providing best practices, tools and techniques to maintain a healthy command and unit climate free of sexual assault and other toxic climate problems to address training gaps between the existing material and new requirements from the Department of Homeland Security.

The awards are presented by their respective commands in conjunction with October’s Crime Prevention Month. Nominees were submitted by each of the military services, the Coast Guard, and the National Guard Bureau.