My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 1, 2022

Observing Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in April and throughout the year

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) theme is “STEP FORWARD. Prevent. Report. Advocate.” Magnus Graham, the Coast Guard’s SAPRR Program coordinator, shared, “A new theme was long overdue and the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard are excited to market and promote this new theme that really speaks to taking action by all [people], at all levels, to advance a positive change in preventing sexual violence.” 

The April 2022 is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) ALCOAST 097/22 encourages leaders to prioritize opportunities for messaging awareness and prevention, as well as, funding for events that expand individual and group knowledge on how to end sexual violence. Support your command and fellow shipmates in prevention and awareness activities throughout SAAPM this April by participating in local area events and creatively using this year’s theme in social media and other communications. 

Events and Activities 

  • Branding Guidance to Promote Events. Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs) should use the “STEP FORWARD. Prevent. Report. Advocate.” logo for digital and print media when publicizing SAAPM content for maximum effectiveness throughout this month’s awareness campaign. This year’s SAAPM brand guide can be viewed by establishing a Mil Suite account, signing into the account at the DoD SAPRO Victim Assistance Group, and navigating to access the guide. 
    • Reflection. The Coast Guard is encouraging every member of the workforce, to consider what STEP FORWARD means to you. Figure out ways to integrate self-reflection into your SAAPM activities. 
    • Recovery Awareness in SAAPM Activities. The Coast Guard’s emphasis on recovery sets our service apart from other services. People who have been victimized are encouraged to prioritize wellness, and commands are reminded of the importance of resourcing and supporting recovery efforts. 
    • Reporting. SARCs are required to report event participation numbers to the Sexual Assault Prevention Response and Recovery (SAPRR) Program Coordinator no later than May 16, 2022.

Training

  • Coast Guard BIT Opportunity. Units co-located with a SARC, Victim Advocate Program Specialist (VAPS), or a specially trained volunteer, may consider utilizing Coast Guard Bystander Intervention Training (CG BIT) as an opportunity to promote awareness and skill building. CG BIT is a 90-minute interactive educational experience that teaches participants how to intervene safely on another’s behalf using specific scenarios as thought-provoking exercises. Units that are not co-located with a SARC, VAPS, or specially trained volunteer may decide to fund a facilitator’s temporary duty travel costs. 
    • SARCs will capture the name and unit of each member attending the CG BIT training and report the data to the SAPRR Program Coordinator, who will share the data with the SAPRR Oversight and Policy Office and senior leadership. CG BIT training data is due by Sept. 30, 2022.

All units are encouraged to contact their local SARC for all SAAPM-related events. The SARC directory is available on the Sexual Assault Prevention Response and Recovery Program (SAPRR) website. For all general questions regarding SAAPM, CG BIT, and the SAPRR program, contact the SAPRR Program Coordinator Magnus Graham or Michelle Underwood, SAPRR Program manager.