CAPE MAY, N.J. – Members at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., participated in a team building exercise that emphasized the service’s policies and facilitated discussion about sexual assault for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Tuesday.
The Sexual Assault Stand Down was aimed at attracting attention and facilitating discussions about sexual assault prevention awareness amongst the members stationed at the training center, here.
“The training center is the birthplace of the enlisted corps and responsible for the enculturation of more than 80 percent of the Coast Guard’s entire workforce,” said Capt. Todd Prestidge, commanding officer of Training Center Cape May. “We pride ourselves on developing a workforce that is free from bystanders and intolerant of sexual assault.”
Training Center Cape May has taken significant steps to eliminate sexual assault in the service. This includes not only increasing formal sexual assault training at the unit, but the crew has also increased more informal interactions with chaplains, sexual assault response coordinators, victim advocates, and senior officers and chiefs about the topic of sexual assault. These informal interactions are aimed at instilling trust in the Coast Guard sexual assault reporting system and empowering future Coast Guardsmen to stand up against sexual assault if they are ever confronted with it.
“The purpose of the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program is to eliminate sexual assault within the Coast Guard by ensuring a culture of prevention, education, victim support and accountability,” said Prestidge. “This is our Coast Guard, and there is no place for sexual assault here.”