Hawaii-Based Sailors Attend Personal Readiness Summit
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii - A group of subject matter experts provided Sailors with current information on several Navy issues during personal readiness summits at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), and Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Jan. 31 - Feb. 3.
Subject matter experts from Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations provided up-to-date changes, policy guidance and interactive discussion on a variety of programs including drug and alcohol, sexual assault prevention and physical readiness.
The Deputy Director for the Navy's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Program, Lanorfeia Holder, said that the summit is important because the fleet needs to think more from a preventive perspective to address issues concerning the Navy.
"If we can get them engaging early and providing intervention when we see the first sign of incident, then we can eliminate the rise in number of what we are seeing: a lot of dysfunctional behaviors like sexual assaults, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse as well as sexual harassments," said Holder.
One of the guest speakers at the event was attorney Ann Munch, a career prosecutor and advocate for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. As subject matter expert for the Navy, Army and Air Force, she has worked extensively on the development of sexual assault prevention and response programs in the military.
"The one thing I want people to take home with them is an understanding of what it's like for those victims who still don't have the ability to come forward and talk about what happened to them and what a great position the leaders are in to create a climate where we can really increase comfort to talk about something that they are not at fault for," said Munch.
In Munch's presentation, she said that 57 percent of rapes happen on dates, 42 percent told no one of the assault and only 5 percent reported to the police.
Munch said that one of the biggest contributors to the problem is the "unnamed conspirator," who enables the unwanted behavior to go unnoticed.
"It is important to make sure that nothing that we do inhibits victims of this crime from getting the help that they need and from holding the offenders accountable," said Munch.
On average, one or more Sailors is sexually assaulted every day. In 2010, the DoD annual report estimated 70-80 percent of all sexual assaults in the military go unreported.
Cmdr. Sheri Snively, deputy region chaplain of Commander, Navy Region Hawaii, said that the summit is one of the best she has attended.
"What it did was help all of us question our assumptions, help look at the way our society has conditioned us, and the summit gave us a lot of food for thought," said Snively. "Munch's presentation was truly outstanding."