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Jun 20, 2013 3:15 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Navy Officers Address Sexual Crime Prevention in Training

CORPUS CHRISTI -- An estimated 26-thousand people were assaulted in the military last year according to the department of defense. Sexual assault in the military is nothing new, but over the past few months, its exploded into the public sphere. To help combat the problem, Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi took part in the nationwide prevention training.

Sexual crimes were the focus of the training at NAS Corpus Christi. Navy Captain Chuck Hollingsworth addressed the statistics, he says in 2012, 726 sexual crimes in the Navy were reported.

"It is happening, it's a small percentage of our population that's in it but it's too much, any is too much," Captain Hollingsworth said.

He says the standards and behavior expected in the Navy, apply to everyone, both civilian workers and those in uniform must understand, respect and follow the rules.

"What I'm asking you now is to extend that to others you may interact with," Captain Hollingsworth said.

Captain Hollingsworth says educating everyone, especially new sailors is a key part to preventing sexual harassment.

Navy officials say the military's reputation is on the line because of assault and rape cases that occur but get swept under the rug without penalty. However, Captain Hollingsworth says that won't happen here.

"You have my commitment and the admirals commitment that anything that occurs on that spectrum from the low end to the high end that action will be taken. We want to send the message of victim support so that if it does happen, our victims trust the chain of command to come forward," he added.

Most importantly if a navy officer sees signs of a sexual assault occuring it's their responsibility to step in. The overall goal is to maintain a zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment in the military and prosecute any and all persons guilty of the offense.

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