Raise your voice in prevention

Cmdr. Hillary Darby
Navy Region Hawaii Sexual Assault
Prevention and Response Officer

Have you ever heard “Protecting our people, protects our mission?” What about “Step up and step in” or “If you see something wrong do something right?” We hear these phrases all the time, but does it really translate from the head to the heart? Do we just nod, put the check in the block for training, and move on to the next task, or do we pause to reflect the meaning behind the words?

Come on, you say, does this really apply to me? I don’t think I know anyone that has been sexually assaulted, it’s not really my problem. Think again.

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every eight minutes, that victim is a child. Every day hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence. That’s why we need to start the conversation, not because it’s a military problem, but because it is a societal problem that’s in our own backyard.

And it is unacceptable.

So what can you do? Start with the basics. Lead with integrity. Remember that on every level of leadership the example we provide through our actions sets the expected standard for our peers and subordinates. Take care of those we serve by treating everyone with dignity and respect. If we truly embodied these principles, we would begin to attack these problems at the very root.

Have you ever seen someone trying to get another person to go home with them, or try to take advantage of another person who had too much to drink? Perhaps you thought, “That’s none of my business.” Get involved. You can approach and intervene in a constructive way. Ask a question directly, or offer a simple distraction such as grabbing a bite to eat. Don’t wait for someone else to get involved, your actions today may stop a sexual assault.

It’s your core values in action. Do what’s right. It’s that simple. Be prepared to help.


If you or someone you know needs assistance please call:

• Hawaii Air Force SAPR Crisis line: 449-7272 (Oahu)

• Hawaii Navy SAPR Crisis line: 722-6192 (Oahu) or 551-1452 (PMRF)

• DoD Safe Helpline: 877-995-5247

• RAINN (for Civilians): 1-800-656-HOPE or 1-808-733-9038 (Oahu)

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Category: News